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BEYOND SEEING

September 6 – October 14, 2017

“You don’t see the people you photograph, you feel them,” quipped Andre Kertesz, a lifelong motto that encapsulates the current exhibition at Elizabeth Houston Gallery more than half a century after its utterance. BEYOND SEEING has the fresh look and, more importantly, feel of a contemporary photo exhibition. On view in the gallery, Kertesz’s own The Balcony, Martinique, 1972 is as much a meditation on the line, form, and composition of geometry as it is a mysterious encounter with another, a stranger at once familiar and unfamiliar to us. That stranger may well be photography itself. We might forget that the ten masters whose smooth silver gelatin prints line the walls worked well before the contentious induction of the medium into the hallowed canon of art history, so immediate and timely is their vision.

That photography transforms and does not merely represent its subject has been an open secret since the 19th century when Pictorialists strained to mimic romantic painting. The straight photographs of the Modernist era that superseded their efforts relished the unique capacities of the camera but did not altogether dismiss its transformative magic. That is nowhere more clear than in the work of Aaron Siskind… more