Thursday, October 23, 2014

CULVER CITY: Robert Hale

Robert Hale, Rouge, Blanc,  et Bleu. C-print, 36" x 60", 2014. Image via Reginald Ingraham Gallery Facebook page.
Water Works: Reflections of an American in Provence
OCTOBER 25 - NOVEMBER 15, 2014

Artists Reception: Saturday, October 25, 2014, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Artist Talk with curator: Saturday, November 8, 2014, 4:30pm - 6:00pm    

6021 W Washington Blvd 
Culver City CA, 90232      
Curator jill moniz brings the photo based work of Robert Hale to the Reginald Ingraham Gallery. Water Works represents a multilayered photographic project that began when Hale used abstraction as a tool to communicate his growing awareness and agency as a photographer living in France. He situated his own experiences in the chaotic, but soothing patterns formed from spontaneous watery reflections of real things he saw in his daily activities in Aix-en-Provence, his new home. These works conveyed the heuristic shifts of his life and his aesthetic: from American to ex-pat, from commercial photographer to artist.

As Hale's affinity for water abstractions grew, so too did his audacity to explore and contract his compositions. With a focus on form and color, he evolved from capturing vaguely representational imagery to the dynamic kineticism of water: a constellation of metallic glow, curving line, and organic shapes. Hale brilliantly chronicles these essential phenomena without any graphic enhancement, as a testament to the fluidity and aestheticism of an altered but authentic reality.

moniz was drawn to these works that reflect Hale's unique position vis-à-vis contemporary African American photographers, most of whom are dedicated to representation, providing a counterbalance to the historic narrative of black identity told over more than a century of work in the medium. Hale's freedom from representation and his unconventional documentary paradigm are born from his position as a Virginian living in France (albeit one who served in Vietnam, lived in Sweden, New York City and Los Angeles), navigating through space and place loaded with a different set of historical and sociological reference points. As a black American photographer, he is a man apart, offering another abstraction to his vision that feels increasingly autobiographical.

In this altered reality, Hale swims in deep emotion, cultivating an astute, yet whimsical theoretical practice. These works envelop the viewer in a meaningful, meditative alchemy, a fusion of material and expressive elements in a distilled landscape.

This is the first exhibition of Robert Hale's Water Works series in the United States. 

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