Concrete Utopia, two-person exhibition

Johansson Projects, Oakland

August 3 - September 3, 2018

Prisme II, 2018, exposures on gelatin silver paper, 28 x 38 inches

Fragments of urban life and daydreams unite the works of Rachelle Bussières and Courtney Sennish in Concrete Utopia on view at Johansson Projects. The works lure you in through their use of color and material; comparing the softness of a sky palette to the texture of concrete. Both artists, sculpting their mediums, record different processes of perceiving, experiencing and relating to the physical world.

For Bussières, the lumen print process allows her to layer colored light exposures of cut shapes to build a glowing geometric presence. She considers the light of specific geographical locations when creating. In the darkroom, in the studio and outside, her shapes are manipulated, overlapped or aligned, to create records of sculpted moments. The dusty pinks and lavenders regress next to glowing yellow shapes, akin to lunar moments viewed through architecture. The photograms radiate next to Sennish’s concrete sculptures which stand as silent urban monuments. Her sculptures are made of familiar textures and materials that become symbols of our constructed landscape. She stacks, puzzles and combines moments recorded during her city walks. In her work, our relationship to nature within the built environment is recorded as a single tree shadow.

Shadows are Formations, risograph

Published and edited by Night Diver Press. 

10” x 13”, 27 pages

Second edition of 200. A copy of Shadows are Formations was acquired by SFMOMA library & archives.

In Rachelle Bussières’s works the capture of place typical of photography is forestalled to that final stage in which light and paper and shape and time push against one another; she creates a delicate rendering of simple forms carries something of the place. The chemistries at play do their part, harnessed to interact in real time with the artist in the dark room without the intermediary of a negative’s recording fixed at another time and place. The light of the site of the works’ making also participates, with the air and sun slipping into the lab and onto the paper’s chemistry charged with peculiarity, personality, simultaneously captured in the work and an accomplice to its making. There is an alien purity to the shapes and colors which surface, subtly but confidently, into the worlds captured and created by Bussières. Heavenly architecture, dawn and dusky skies are drawn sometimes sharply, sometimes in a haze, in pale intermediate colors, in not quite oranges or purples or blush pinks, making a spectral portrait of this particular sun’s travels through this particular atmosphere, these clouds. 

- Essay by Aaron Harbour.


Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco

November 18 2017 - February 15, 2018

Eclipses I-IX, 2017, exposures on gelatin silver paper, 16 x 20 inches/each

Debra Bloomfield's newest large-scale photograph series, Seas, embodies the subtle variations of tones, the brilliant gradations of the sky, and the muted turbulence of the surface of the sea. Her images employ the visual language of metaphor and explore the relationship between psychological interiority and the external world. As with her Wilderness series, this newest series addresses complex environmental issues, in this instance our rising seas. Bloomfield's monographs include Wilderness (2014), STILL: Oceanscapes (2008), and Four Corners (2004).

Rachelle Bussières continues her darkroom exploration and experimentation by cutting, layering and manipulating photographic materials. Influenced by geological strata and astral movements and their transformative properties, her work eschews conventional darkroom techniques. Much like her predecessors and influences such as Dan Flavin and the Light and Space Movement, Bussières has been inspired by the naturally occurring colors in the Western sky. Her recent work has developed a "sky pallet" by using the lumen print process through layers of natural and artificial light to create hues and gradations of color as photograms on gelatin silver paper. The resulting works resemble landscape features such as moons, ice formations and mountains, yet dually retain a distant and dreamlike quality.

Originally a poet, Rebecca Norris Webb has published six photography books: Slant Rhymes (2017), a collaboration with her husband and creative partner, the photographer Alex Webb; Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb: Memory City (2014); Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image (2014); My Dakota (2012), an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly; Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba, with Alex Webb (2009); and The Glass Between Us (2006). Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Cleveland Museum of Art; and the George Eastman House among other institutions