In mid-July, a beautiful, monographic exhibition of the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show is accompanied by an impeccable publication, printed by Trifolio srl with essays by Jeff L. Rosenheim (the curator of the exhibition), Virginia Heckert, Gabriele Conrath-Scholl, and Lucy Sante. The catalogue concludes with an illuminating conversation between Rosenheim and the artist Max Becher about his parents life and work.
Kuos title, Mercury and Salt, references two of the compounds central to alchemy, and with this invocation of alchemy Kuo suggests an analogical connection with photography. Here mercury corresponds to the silver nitrate molecules in photographic paper and salt corresponds to the sulfates that fix the image. If the goal of alchemy is to transmute dross matter to a higher state, Kuos aim in Mercury and Salt is to transform dross photography into painting.
Irwin’s show at Pace offers viewers new sensory experiences. Seven intriguing “Unlight” wall reliefs occupy the two street level galleries. Each relief is assembled from up to two dozen tightly spaced six-foot fluorescent light fixtures fastened to the wall.
As I studied at the portraits, I imagined the show through a series of musical metaphors. The CERN images are symphonic in scale.