New Mexico Museum of Art

Museum of Art Presents Two-Person Show Questioning the Nature of Photography

January 24, 2017


For Immediate Release: January 24, 2017 (Santa Fe, NM)—Light Tight: New Work by Meggan Gould and Andy Mattern, on display from March 25 – September 17, 2017, is a two-person exhibition that presents new and unconventional work by Meggan Gould and Andy Mattern. Both artists investigate the basic materials of photography and subvert the idea of photographic representation and the commercialization of the medium. The title of the show refers to the need to keep light sensitive material covered up, or “light tight,” until it is ready to be used. Together, these two bodies of works create a visual conversation about how the tools and conventions of photography can be reconsidered and manipulated. Meet the artists! Meggan Gould and Andy Mattern will be at the museum for the opening reception of the exhibition on April 7, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy free admission and First Friday fun, with music, several new exhibitions, and a chance to meet the museum’s new Curator of Art, Christian Waguespack! In addition, a gallery talk will be held this summer on Sunday, July 23 at 1:00 p.m. with Meggan Gould and Andy Mattern who will talk about their work in the show and their interest in critically reexamining the medium of photography.

“As photography continues to invade and define every corner of contemporary human existence, these two artists are actively examining the way the medium and its conventions shape our vision and experience,” said Curator of Photography Katherine Ware. “Both of them take something ordinary and familiar and then redefine and repurpose it, giving each of us an opportunity to reconsider our assumptions.”

Gould’s work has long been characterized by an ongoing exploration of how photography affects the way we see the world. In her most recent series Don’t Open Box in the Light (2015-16), Gould uses photographic sheet film, but not in the usual way. Instead of using it in a camera to capture latent images, she renders it impotent by rubbing away the emulsion, burnishing what is left, and then drawing on it using pigment ink drained from digital printers. Her methods are both meditative and laborious, intimately reconnecting the artist with her materials while simultaneously creating a hybrid between darkroom and digital photography that defies classification. The final pieces are unique, hand-made images with a patterned, rhythmic appeal. While Gould focuses on the material aspects of the medium, Andy Mattern turns his attention to the standardization of commercially manufactured photography paper and its packaging and marketing. Starting with the cardboard boxes in which the paper is advertised and stored, Mattern sands and scrapes off their recognizable logos and images before adding tape and other collage elements. His interventions neutralize the boxes’ corporate messages, creating a new surface that denies their original function. He photographs the resulting abstract images, reclaiming the boxes as sites for creative freedom and transforms their corporate messaging into a personal vision. The resulting prints in the series Standard Size are both straightforward and cryptic, familiar and strange. Gould earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied anthropology. She continued her studies at the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies, where she studied non-fiction writing, and at Speos (Paris Photographic Institute), where she began her studies in photography. She earned her MFA in photography from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and now teaches in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico. She premiered this new work at the Houston Center for Photography in 2016. Mattern, a native of Albuquerque, earned his BFA in Studio Art at the University of New Mexico and his MFA at the University of Minnesota. He is now Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at Oklahoma State University where he has inaugurated a photography program in the Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History. The Standard Size series was most recently shown in a 2016 solo show at the Elizabeth Houston Gallery in New York City. 

Related Photos

Book of the Dead
Head of Ruth
Untitled 24, by Meggan Gould
Standard Size 7986, By Andy Mattern

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