David Petersen Gallery - Afterlight February 22 – April 5, 2014
Why is it called ‘after dark’ when it really is ‘after light’?
The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet’s surface at that time. Everything else will follow.
For his first solo exhibition with David Petersen Gallery, Scott Nedrelow presents a new group of paintings and an installation of video works.
Nedrelow’s paintings involve a post-photographic process that uses the materials of inkjet printing. However, the artist employs an airbrush to manually spray the Epson ink onto photo paper. He manipulates and sprays the photo paper rolled in various configurations that when flat give an impression of three dimensionality. As the paper absorbs ink the paintings appear to be photographs of shadows. While light has been historically integral to photographic print production (paper exposed in the darkroom), Nedrelow turns the light itself into his subject while eschewing light in the physical process.
In addition to referencing a post-photographic process, the title Afterlight also alludes to shadows and the idea of an afterimage— the compensation of the eye’s retina after the original visual stimulus. The quintessential example involves staring at one color (red, for example) and then blinking and gazing upon a blank sheet of paper. The resulting image—that appears only in the eye and the mind of the viewer—presents itself as a sort of shadow of the original source.
The video installation utilizes the back of the gallery. Here, Nedrelow’s video work Earthrise/earthset focus on the horizon line and light during dawn and twilight. Using a camera and a motorized astronomical mount the horizon line slowly moves in and out through the frame, showing the movement of the earth as the light advances and recedes over the ocean.
What ties these two bodies of work together is not only the depiction of light and its aftereffects, but also the concept of a “slow-looking” necessary to physically see Nedrelow’s works. One must pause before and after engaging in the work, creating a vacillating rhythm of space for quiet contemplation.