Denny Gallery is pleased to announce Penumbra, a solo exhibition by Nikolai Ishchuk running from November 19 to December 23, 2015.
Penumbra is Ishchuk’s second exhibition at Denny Gallery, showing the development of his work with photo-based two-dimensional work and sculpture. Ishchuk has continued to explore the realm of the photographic, specifically its essential elements of light, space, and objecthood. He begins with an image and a consideration of the chemical and physical processes that affix it to a paper, and then reverses this process with his creative destruction. Ishchuk’s “Sedimentations,” “Leaks,” “Indeterminate Objects,” and “Spills,” as he calls the various works in this series, fit into his larger practice in that they are both conceptual and process-based. Whether he is manipulating and obliterating original images, found images or darkroom experimentations, his practice expresses a pervasive attitude of self-effacement, dispossession, and irony.
Ishchuk transforms his silver gelatin prints into a substrate for other materials, including cyanotype, acrylic, oil, and concrete. Some of the underlying photographs are experimental, darkroom plays of leaked light and degradations, while others visibly reveal traditional landscapes and other representative imagery. The newest work is the most revealing of his process. One can geologically examine all of the reworkings, scrapings, knife marks, and color residue from rubbed off print runs, which Ishchuk has left visible. This interest in exploring the the essential medium of photography is an important contemporary interest of artists, curators and critics. Ishchuk’s work is in conversation with artists such as Matthew Brandt, Walead Beshty, and Erin Shirreff, and with ideas that have been explored in recent exhibitions such as What is a Photograph? at the International Center for Photography last year, and Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, opening at the Guggenheim contemporaneously.
Nikolai Ishchuk was born in 1982 in Moscow, Russia, and lives in London, England. He received his M.F.A. from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, his M. Phil from the University of Cambridge, and his B.A. from the University of York. Ishchuk was the first non-documentary photographer to win the British Journal of Photography award and has been awarded the Art Omi International Artists Residency. Ishchuk has exhibited internationally, including at such institutions as the Whitechapel Gallery, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and the Jerwood Space, London. He was recently recorded for the Tate Audio Arts, a comprehensive sound archive of nearly 1,000 artists recorded over 43 years.