Chiaroscuro, Rectangles

Collection in Focus: Mixed Media Portraits

Joel Smith, the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, discusses the ways that various artistic media can overlap and intersect. In this case, we examine photography, drawing, and sculpture.

Christine Dalenta
Photogram on ad-type paper
image and sheet: 10 7/8 x 8 3/8 inches (276 x 213 mm); mount: 19 5/8 x 15 5/8 inches (498 x 397 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Douglas Troob and Christopher Scholz.
Curatorial Comments: 

A photograph typically encourages viewers to look through it at the subject photographed, ignoring the physical qualities of the print. But in this cameraless work, photographic printing paper makes a subject of itself. In the darkroom, a mathematical expert in tesselation (the division of a plane into identical units or "tiles") systematically folded a sheet of printing paper. Dalenta then cast light on the sheet before unfolding and chemically developing it. The spiraling pattern of light and dark triangles shows which segments of the folded paper were concealed or exposed.

Acquired from Jayne H. Baum, 26 Grove Street Suite #4C, New York, NY 10014.
Signed, titled, dated on verso.
Courtesy of Christine Dalenta in collaboration with Benjamin Parker and JHB Gallery, New York. © Christine Dalenta and Benjamin Parker.