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March 2012

Brian Dettmer


Brian Dettmer

Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.


Dettmer manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his sculptures. He also folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create completely original sculptural forms. "My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception," he says. "The richness and depth of the book is universally respected yet often undiscovered as the monopoly of the form and relevance of the information fades over time.

The book’s intended function has decreased and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. By altering physical forms of information and shifting preconceived functions, new and unexpected roles emerge." Dettmer is originally from Chicago, where he studied at Columbia College. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.

Cindy Sherman


Cindy sherman

Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold.


Sherman works in series, typically photographing herself in a range of costumes. To create her photographs, Sherman shoots alone in her studio, assuming multiple roles as author, director, make-up artist, hairstylist, wardrobe mistress—and, of course, model. Her photogrpahs often are a series of photographs that feature the artist as a variety of meticulously observed characters.

Sherman uses elaborate costumes and make-up to transform her identity for each image, but is photographed in a sparse, obviously staged setting. In her landmark 69 photograph series, the Complete Untitled Film Stills, (1977–1980; although the 1997 traveling MOCA retrospective included five straight-on head shots dated 1975) Sherman appeared as B-movie, foreign film and film noir style actresses.

When asked if she considers herself to be acting in her photographs, Sherman said, “I never thought I was acting. When I became involved with close-ups I needed more information in the expression. I couldn’t depend on background or atmosphere. I wanted the story to come from the face. Somehow the acting just happened.”

Although Sherman does not consider her work feminist, many of her photo-series, like the 1981 Centerfolds, call attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines. When talking about one of her centerfold pictures Cindy stated, "In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly look at it with an expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a victim. I didn't think of them as victims at the time... But I suppose... Obviously I'm trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expectation."

In her work, Sherman is both revealed and hidden, named and nameless. She explained to the New York Times in 1990, "I feel I'm anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren't self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear." She describes her process as intuitive, and that she responds to elements of a setting such as light, mood, location, and costume, and will continue to change external elements until she finds what she wants. She has said of her process, "I think of becoming a different person. I look into a mirror next to the camera…it’s trance-like. By staring into it I try to become that character through the lens...When I see what I want, my intuition takes over—both in the 'acting' and in the editing. Seeing that other person that’s up there, that’s what I want. It’s like magic."

Lynn Geesaman

Lynn geesaman

... And the garden is both a plan and an act of faith, and, as such, combines faith and reason, our greatest possibilities, thus becoming an archetypal resolution of predicament.
Donald Geesaman, ORION, Summer 1994


Reminiscent of images produced by nineteenth century travel photographers, such as Francis Frith, the photographs of Lynn Geesaman display solitary, curious worlds.  Geesaman accentuates the formal compositions of the places that she photographs; English gardens, canals and roadsides in Belgium, and Italian hillside villages.  Her photographs add monumentality and solidity to the landscape making the ingredients melt into abstraction as value and shape take on increased significance. This is further increased by her printing method that results in a shadowy glow that permeates the photographs.  The overall effect supports Geesaman's Romantic notion that there is a reality beyond the empirical.

Her photographs serve as evidence of humanities attempt to order the natural world as the garden is an example of the wild confined for the pleasure of its visitors. By photographing formal landscapes that have been defined as "rarefied culture" Geesaman is questioning man's authority over nature along with our concepts of beauty.

Geesaman has exhibited in several museum exhibitions; Earthly Delights: Garden Imagery in Contemporary Art at The Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Contemporary Landscapes: Selections from the Permanent Collection at the Walker Art Center, and Reclaiming Paradise: American Women Photograph the Land at the Tweed Museum of Art.Her most recent publication, Gardenscapes, with text by Verlyn Klinkenborg, presents her first color images.

Each of these color images is a leap of faith, for each one reflects the artist’s assurance that she has got it right, right not only for her own eye but also for the viewer’s eye as well.  Shift the colors too far and they spill over into an almost abstract realm . . . Geesaman shows us what we see, so to speak, only in our peripheral vision, the colors that lie just past the ones we usually take in.”                        
Verlyn Klinkenborg

Lynn Geesaman explores cultivated landscapes, with their cloudless, timeless skies and languorous beauty.  For almost twenty years, she has photographed fertile orchards and fields as well as the elaborately designed gardens and manicured walkways of a variety of parks, estates, and Chateaux in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and the United States.  Her poetic vision, rendered in an array of vibrant, impressionistic hues, generates a mesmerizing tension that emerges from a contemplation of these natural settings and their altered states. 

Lynn Geesaman's images of elaborate topiary gardens, canals, and dramatic landscapes employ unusual diffusion techniques that emphasize an imaginative and psychological interpretation of nature.
Born in Cleveland in 1938, Geesaman was introduced to photography while studying physics at Wellesley College. An interest in gardens led to research, travel and photography in England, France, Belgium, Italy and Germany. Among the many honors she has received are the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship and the Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Visual Arts Fellowship Award and a Jerome Foundation award in 1989.  Geesaman's monograph, Poetics of Place, was published by Umbrage Editions in 1998. Her work is represented in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Biblioteque National in Paris, and among many private collections.