David Stock: “Hard-Working Storefronts”
May 22 - June 23
Opening reception: Saturday, June 1, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
440 Gallery is pleased to present Hard-Working Storefronts, a series of color photographs by David Stock. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with the Gallery, adding another dimension to his exploration of the urban landscape.
“Mom and pop” storefronts are an iconic feature of New York’s visual culture. For generations, their populist commercial appeals and home-made displays have added variety and flavor to our neighborhoods. Clamoring for attention on busy streets, they constitute a dense tapestry of colors, textures, viewpoints and attitudes.
Today New York’s mom and pop stores are endangered. Many are falling victim to gentrification, which has brought with it skyrocketing rents and waves of bland chain stores. Nevertheless, family-run stores still cling to life, particularly in the city’s remaining working class and immigrant neighborhoods.
David Stock appreciates these independent storefronts as compelling cultural artifacts. Full of telling details and vibrant colors, his photographs observe small dramas of class and gender. They reveal striking contrasts, nostalgia, humor, and unexpected beauty.
Stock’s photographs are enhanced by careful image preparation and meticulous printing technique. He makes his own prints using pigmented inks on fine art papers. “I worked in the darkroom for decades,” Stock says. “But then I fell in love with the amazing possibilities of ink on paper, something digital technology opened up to photographers.”
David Stock's photography has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. Venues include Fogg Art Museum, California Museum of Photography, Museet for Fotokunst (Denmark), University of Sinaloa, Powerhouse Arena, Casa da Fotografia Fuji (Brazil), Angels Gate Cultural Center and Colorado Photographic Arts Center, to name a few.
Stock's photographs have been reproduced by diverse publications including The New York Times and The Boston Phoenix. His work was featured on the covers of Z Magazine, Canon Chronicle, Long Beach Museum Quarterly and Arts Rag. Portfolios of Stock's work have been featured in arts magazines including Blue Sky, La Fotografia Actual (Spain) and Fotopozytw (Poland).
In the Project Space: “Open Air”
Fred Bendheim creates variations on the themes of the natural and human invention/intervention. These constructed paintings, made with shaped wood and acrylic, are cut away to reveal the wall behind the work. The cutouts create geometric, diamond-shaped, negative spaces placed between the more fluid organic lines of tree branches. The colors are muted and the flat rendering of the trees is in playful incongruity with the shadows cast by actual physical depth behind the cutout panel. Bendheim says of his work: “I am interested in merging the styles of abstraction and the figurative, and the genres of painting and sculpture, to create something unconventional but visually appealing.”
“I have to tell you that I look at real things with increasing love.” Gail Flanery quotes Joan Miro in speaking about her new work from a recent residency in Costa Rica. These small unframed drawings, watercolors and collage bring a delicate equatorial breeze into the gallery. Flanery focuses on isolated natural elements: a leaf, a few bare but gracefully branched twigs. It is not the usual robust colors and movement one associates with tropical subjects but rather a more restrained, intimate, vision of nature closely observed. Flanery says “I’m always looking for a way to move between the real and abstract— using line and palette. I want to continue to build possibilities with my work.”
“If winter is about icy blues, then spring and summer are all about greens and pinks,” says watercolorist Joy Makon. The three landscapes that Joy is showing celebrate the full range of warm-weather color with soft barely- tinged cherry blossoms giving way to full-blown red geraniums. She has incorporated figures within the landscape frame and through them we can experience what it is like to be outside in nature: the giddy feelings of standing amidst the weeping cherry trees in Brooklyn Botanic Garden; the heat of the noontime sun on one’s head and shoulders in Central Park; the sounds and aromas of a hot summer afternoon by a verdant vineyard in France.