On March 23, 2013 the David Klein Gallery, under the direction of Christine Schefman, opened a solo exhibition of photography by the conceptual artist Lauren Semivan. Her work combines objects with drawing, miscellaneous materials, and images of herself in a studio setting. She captures the setup in her studio using an Eastman view camera. Without manipulation, she scans the eight by ten negatives to make large inkjet prints. Semivan works as an artist making photographs, versus a photographer making photographs. The work recalls Man Ray, who recognized early on that photography could capture the effect of object-based art on a two-dimensional plane.
Bathed in an abstract expressionistic backdrop, Archive directs our attention toward a landscape snapshot in a way that Kenneth Josephson might do in a “photo within a photo” photograph. The scale of surreal objects, set against an immaterial backdrop, brings forward the power of her poetic sensibility.
In an era when millions of photographic images flood the Internet and media outlets, Semivan takes her audience technologically back in time, to when the Eastman view camera captures its imagery on a large negative. In doing so, the black and white archival inkjet prints separate from the masses through photography that conceptually imitates painting. In addition to the David Klein Gallery, the Bonni Benrubi Gallery represents Semivan in New York City.
The David Klein Gallery
163 Townsend Street
Birmingham, MI 48009
Ron Scott is a pseudonym for a writer based in the Detroit area. View more articles by Ron Scott.