Caleb Cain Marcus: A Portrait of Ice
Rosier Gallery is pleased to present the large-scale color photographs in Caleb Cain Marcus' A Portrait of Ice from January 10 - March 26, 2013. These images were captured at glaciers around the world, including in Alaska, Iceland, Patagonia, New Zealand and Norway, in 2010 and 2011. Damiani published a book on the series, including an essay by Marvin Heiferman, in September, 2012. Signed copies of the book are available from the gallery. This exhibition marks the first time Rosier Gallery has shown the artist's work.
Caleb Cain Marcus began his two year quest to create A Portrait of Ice with a vision. “As the boat that crossed Lake Argentino swayed back and forth, I thought about the oppression created by the lack of a horizon in an urban environment and what would happen if there was no visible horizon in the open space. What would happen if it vanished? Without a reference point, scale becomes difficult to decipher and another world begins to emerge, one that has the feeling of a manufactured landscape.” With this realization that the horizon-less image would be unmoored from our visual expectations, something new could be created. “The photographs would not try to document the scene as it existed. Instead the work would join land and mind in a kind of creation; a built environment; the photograph. This created landscape is evidence not only of our existence but also our inseparable connection and existence with the landscape.”
That connection is personalized by not framing the works as traditional horizontally-oriented landscapes. Instead, we’re surprised to see vertical images that evoke classic human portraits. With this choice, the work shifts from referencing the historical art canon toward a poignant personalization in which we feel the glaciers’ solidity and frailty simultaneously. This ever shifting interplay between opposites, an echo of the artist’s original vision to intermingle sky and ice by erasing the horizon, further appears through the series with some works capturing flowing organic undulations and others jagged crystalline outcroppings.
This movement from documentation to creation is not only realized with erasing the horizon line, framing the works vertically and capturing a range of forms, but also with color. The glacier archetype is a sea of white. Marcus chose not to reinforce this stereotypical image but to range color within the works from just the slightest hint though subtle shadings to vibrant richness. He uses color, or more specifically, in his words, “instinctual color”, within these images to communicate feeling. “Instinctual color emanates from the blurred space between artist and subject and exists in a visceral form. To create instinctual color that extends beyond the mind and onto the print, the color must be followed through the mind until no uncertainty surrounds it. Only at this point can it be physically realized. When used in a series, color can evoke layered repetitions as in music, each striking a slightly altered chord, which is felt individually and as a whole. Instinctual color can penetrate into the body awaking emotions beyond the reach of words, and bypass the filtering mechanisms of our brain, entering directly into our soul.”
Caleb Cain Marcus makes large-scale photographs that explore our relationship and interaction with space. The artist’s work is currently held in the permanent collections of nearly 20 museums throughout the United States, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA and George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. In addition to the recently published monograph “A Portrait of Ice”, Damiani published the artist’s “The Silent Aftermath of Space”, which includes text by Robert Frank, in 2010. This later monograph was honored with the Lucie/IPA Book Award. Caleb Cain Marcus was born in Colorado and currently lives and works in New York City.
Rosier Gallery specializes in contemporary photography by representing outstanding mid-career and emerging photographers and presenting exceptional images from the world's most renowned photo-based artists through the secondary market. We strive to introduce collectors and corporations around the world to photographers who create visually unique, compelling images that raise issues in a thought-provoking, nuanced manner. Rosier Gallery has served clients around the world, including in Europe, South America and the Middle East, and across the United States, including in California, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Minnesota and Ohio, and corporations including Microsoft and Time-Warner.