Reception: April 15, 5-8pm

Document is pleased to present Technical Images, John Opera’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. This exhibit continues the artist’s photographic experiments with the cyanotype process.

For this series, Opera has constructed light-emitting instruments of two basic types: tube lights and lasers. Each instrument produces specific photographic marks, different patterns exposed over extended periods of time.

With the tube lights, fluorescent bulbs burn lines into the emulsion based on precise intervals set between bulb and canvas. The resulting marks shift from sharp to soft focus, resembling effects caused by shallow depth-of-field settings on a camera’s lens. With the lasers, the projector lens through which the light passes becomes photographically transferred directly to the cyanotype canvas, recording both the curvature of the lens and the particles of dust present on its surface during the exposure event.

Opera subsequently builds upon this indexical foundation, adding painted layers that frame and shape the photographic material while also creating foreground/background relationships within each composition. The original cyanotype is already something of an abstraction, and becomes doubly so when organized into a hybrid of painting and photography. The photographic medium’s nineteenth-century iterations enter into dialogue with painting’s universalist apex—the “geometric abstraction” of the Bauhaus and beyond.

Overall, the pictorial references in Technical Images are based on the mechanics of light: oculi, mirrors, openings, and binocular vision. Some works directly recall Thomas Young’s double-slit experiment of 1801, illustrating the wave-particle duality of light (often cited as one of the most puzzling observable phenomena ever discovered). In this show, Opera has pared complex ideas into an elemental visual vocabulary that explores the fundamental qualities of light, photographic reality, and the broader field of representational flatlands.

Elizabeth Atterbury

Elizabeth Atterbury (born 1982, West Palm Beach, FL) lives and works in Portland, Maine. Recent solo and group shows include Kate Werble Gallery, New York; The Portland Museum of Art, Portland; Mrs., Queens; The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; kijidome, Boston; Document, Chicago; Western Exhibitions, Chicago; The Luminary, St Louis; Et al. Etc., San Francisco; Pulaski Park Field House, Chicago; Able Baker Contemporary, Portland; Ida Schmid, Brooklyn; TSA, Brooklyn; Bodega, Philadelphia/New York; KANSAS, New York; and The ICA at Maine College of Art, Portland, among others. In the Middle, An Oasis, a monograph of her work, was published by Bodega Press in 2013. She received her BA from Hampshire College and her MFA from MassArt.

Atterbury’s studio practice is fluid, fluctuating between picture making and object making. Fascinated with the autonomy of the artifact – objects disassociated from their original function and context – Atterbury’s practice considers the distinction or lack thereof between artifact, prop, model and sculpture.  Drawn to materials such as paper and sand, Atterbury constructs ephemeral tableaux specifically for the purpose of transfiguring and recording them. Both her photographs and sculpture build upon a continued interest in display and its visual structures, along with a more recent interest in language, ritual, and abstraction.

Elizabeth Atterbury, 26 Waves, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 22 3/4h x 19w x 1d in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Alone at night, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23h x 19w x 1d in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Still life with bowl and mirror, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23h x 19w x 1d in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Anonymous Old Poem, 2018, Mortar, plywood and glue, 23h x 19w x 1d in

Elizabeth Atterbury, Calligraphy Frame, 2018, Maple, acrylic paint, glue, 60h x 40w x 1d in

Elizabeth Atterbury, The Well, Again (Pool), 2017, Beach sand, glue, MDF, 10 1/2h x 8w x 6 1/4d in

The Well, The Wall, 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

The Well, The Wall II, 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

Beach Woks (Marks of a Tool II), 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

Still Life with Popcorn and Pits, 2016 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Logogram III, 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

Logogram II, 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

Logogram I, 2016 Silver gelatin print 20 x 24 in

Sunny Side, FL (Tomb), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 12 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in

Sunny Side, FL (The Cut), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 13 1/2 x 28 1/2 x 1 1/4 in

Sunny Side, FL (Sunset Hedge), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 1 1/2 x 16 x 2 1/2 in

Sunny Side, FL (Small House), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 1 x 16 3/4 x 14 1/2 in

Sunny Side, FL (Bull Shark), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 2 1/2 x 18 x 1 1/2 in

Sunny Side, FL (Paper Cut / Hedge), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 10 x 9 x 1 3/4 in

Sunny Side, FL (Noguchi's Intetra, Mist Fountain), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 11 x 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 in

Sunny Side, FL (Lawn), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 9 x 9 in

Sunny Side, FL (Big House), 2016 Enamel paint, steel 16 x 18 x 6 in

Sunny Side, FL (Palms), 2015 Enamel paint, steel 17 1/2 x 11 x 16 in

Relief (China White), 2015 Plywood and paint 33 x 48 x 1 3/4 in

Moonlight on the river, 2014, chromogenic print 14 x 11 in

Slow Song, 2014, chromogenic print 14 x 11 in

Marks of a tool, 2014, silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Rake, 2014, Silver gelatin print 24h x 20w in

Ghost Tracks, 2014, Silver gelatin print 24h x 20w in

Black Beach, 2014, silver gelatin print 14 x 11 in.

Bones, 2014 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Glyphs II, 2014 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Glyphs, 2014 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Site, 2014 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Sculpture Park, 2014 Silver gelatin print 11 x 14 in

Bricks, 2013, chromogenic print 14 x 11 in

Harry, Henri, Sal, 2013, chromogenic print 14 x 11 in

Blue runner, 2013, chromogenic print 14 x 11 in

"Document." Wallpaper* City Guide Chicago. March 2018. Page 058. Print.

DOCUMENT Wallpaper Chicago City Guide

Document
This small and edgy gallery — a simple, lofi venue with white walls, lightwood floors and industrial elements — specialises in photography, film and media-based art. Founded in 2011 by Aron Gent, it focuses on bringing new and emerging names to wider attention. A 2017 joint exhibition by local talents John Paul Morabito and Laura Letinsky saw them combine photography and weaving in painterly cotton and wool works, while John Opera showed a range of compelling geometric cyanotypes in ‘Technical Images’ (above). There is a coterie of fresh enterprises in the building, which is the hub of the Ukrainian Village scene — Volume Gallery (see p062), Paris London Hong Kong (see p069) and Western Exhibitions (T 312 480 8390) are all here.

1709 W Chicago Avenue, T 262 719 3500,
www.documentspace.com

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
Gallery and Print Studio Assistant
Renata Cruz Lara Guerra
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

Private Works Login
DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 40 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.