Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present Lineations 2, an exhibition of new photographs by Sandi Haber Fifield. In these recent works, the artist combines torn and layered photographs, graphite, wax pastel and vellum to shift our understanding of photography away from the fact-based or documentary, towards a material-based, intuitive process which challenges our expectations of the expressive potential of the medium.
Haber Fifield has experimented with multiple images throughout her career, exploring various ways of extending the photographic frame. As Haber Fifield explains, “I have never felt constrained by the parameters of traditional photography and have only rarely been interested in pursuing photography as fact." In Lineations 2, Haber Fifield uses the camera to capture light, shadow, line and plane, as well as details from the natural world. Treating the resulting imagery as raw material, Haber Fifield may adjust the photograph’s color, overlay different versions of the same image, or use the ragged white edge of a torn segment as a line. In many cases, on either the photograph or an adjoining sheet of vellum, the artist adds drawings in response to and as an extension of the altered images. The drawings are both intuitive and insistent with a line that is spindly and brittle as well as elegant. The vellum adds another layer, translucent and atmospheric, that one looks both at and through. The interplay of shadow and substance seen in the photographs, as well as in the layering of opaque and translucent materials, echoes the photographic process itself, for which both light and darkness are essential.
Ultimately, Haber Fifield’s project is underpinned by a phenomenological drive. In Lineations 2 we are presented with images that originate in objective reality but move us beyond the merely seen towards a more complex, intuited and subjective reality. Describing these works as “photo-based constructions,” the artist encourages a slower form of looking than we may usually associate with the medium. She states, “In many works, you can easily recognize the shapes of trees and flowers, sky and sun, yet you are not always sure of what you are looking at or where you are.”