Opening reception April 11th 6-8pm
Jeffrey Sturges presents the built environment through a precise and unsentimental frame. His large, relentlessly frontal color images offer a play between a monumental format and subject matter that is decidedly everyday.
Sturges’ photographs demonstrate how different architecture really is from the kind we studied in textbooks. He shows the relationship between the texture, color, and light in architecture and, their counterparts in painting.
With his background in the study of painting, and his current use of photography, Jeffrey Sturges’ photographs deal with something common to both mediums. Both painting and photography have come to frame our ways of thinking about and representing the world, using select fragments to stand for experiences and circumstances. Jeffrey Sturges’ recent photographs remind us of this conditioning- “how representations of specific localities and buildings transcend the everyday and comment on a strangely constructed world.” Conditioned as we are, to see and come to terms with the world through an endless stream of photographic imaging, Sturges’ work plays on the fact that there are things we sometimes do not see unless they are held up before us. In this sense these photographs draw attention to more painterly influences, such as Edward Hopper and Mark Rothko. Yet, having been produced by the mechanical and repeatable process of photography, they possess the illusion of objectivity inherent to the medium.
The spaces chosen as subjects by Jeffrey Sturges reflect a lack of personal investment and human presence – completely void of people, they are common, generic spaces not relegated to backdrops or environments for human interaction or drama, but are subjects in themselves. They are ‘non-spaces’ and yet despite their anonymity, the quasi-documentary style serves as a persistent reminder of the specificity and grounding of each place in the world. Through an exploration of the dialogue between painting and photography; abstraction and figuration; the generic and the specific; and absence and presence, Jeffrey Sturges makes pictures which function both as documents of specific places and as painterly compositions.