GAMBIER — Photographer Gregory Spaid, professor of art, brings an exhibition of new work inspired by the streets of New York City to the Olin Art Gallery at Kenyon College, opening on Saturday.
“Gregory Spaid: The Light Fantastic” examines the impromptu choreography of people on the move in the city, pushed to the edge of abstraction by the photographer. The exhibition continues through May 28 at the Olin Art Gallery, 103 College Drive. Spaid will discuss his work in a talk in the Olin Auditorium on Thursday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. A catered reception will follow in the gallery. The exhibition and related events are free.
Spaid spent a year in New York City in 2009 and 2010 and found perches to photograph unsuspecting passers-by. “The act of watching people on the street is an act of imagination,” Spaid said in a statement about the exhibition. “We do not know the particulars of the lives of the strangers we see there, yet we assign them roles in our imagination. In these photographs ... I have tried to merge the abstract and the concrete, the poetic and the literal.”
Catherine Evans, curator of photography at the Columbus Museum of Art and author of the exhibition brochure, said Spaid’s photos represent “a wholly new kind of street photography” that is still rooted in the medium’s modern history. “These singular, enigmatic images invite narratives,” she said. “Despite the indistinct attributes of the figures, just enough detail emerges for us to imagine their stories.”
Spaid’s work can be found in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; International Museum of Photography, Rochester, N.Y.; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; and J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. He has exhibited his work at the Getty Museum; the Smithsonian; Soho Photo Gallery, New York City; Lee Witkin Gallery, New York City; and Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati. He has received seven Ohio Arts Council grants. Two books of Spaid’s photographs have been published: “Grace: Photography of Rural America” and “On Nantucket.”
The gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, contact gallery director Dan Younger at firstname.lastname@example.org and 740-427-5346. Visit the Olin Art Gallery website at www2.kenyon.edu/gallery.
Published on April 21, 2011