Birgit Blyth / Michael Sibilia

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 16 from 6 to 9pm

January 11, 2010 through February 21, 2010

Carrie Haddad Photographs is pleased to announce our first exhibition of the new year, Birgit Blyth: Recent Work, which will be on view from January 14, 2010 through February 21, 2010. Also on exhibit will be a series of photographs, "10 Days in Alaska" by Michael Sibilia. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Saturday, January 16, from 6 pm to 8 pm. All are invited to attend.

Birgit Blyth: Recent Work

Though Birgit Blyth began her photographic career using conventional photographic methods, she quickly became more interested in alternative processes. In the mid 1990’s a colleague showed her an article in Scientific American and it was here that she first discovered the technique called “chromoskedasic” painting, which would eventually lead her to fully finding her voice as a photographer.

Blyth had always aligned herself with and been moved by abstract expressionist painting. The series of veil paintings by post-abstract expressionist, Morris Louis, was especially inspiring to her and caused her to ask herself how she could do similar interpretations photographically. In “chromoskedasic” painting, she found the answers and would begin on a new path in her artwork.

The term “chromoskedasic” is derived from Greek roots meaning color by light scattering. Developed by a photographer named Dominic Man-Kit Lam, this process exploits the capability of silver particles in black and white photographic paper to “scatter” light at different wavelengths when exposed to light and chemicals. In her mastery of this photochemical drawing process, Blyth has painted lush washes of color into her own “Veil Series;” she has envisioned landscapes, both rural and urban, with melting swirls and marbled colors into rich palettes of toffee and lead. She has used this essentially experimental process to help her “see” the world around her. Blyth says she continues to be fascinated by the process because it requires “a combination of discipline, experimentation, and imagination, making possible a wonderful balance between control and surprise.”

Because the chromoskedasic work is all analog, Blyth spends much of her studio time in the darkroom, which has become a rarity in the current world of digital photography. She does however, continue her preference for experimentation in numerous directions, even employing aspects of the digital age – this exhibit will also feature a new series of pieces created with the now defunct but much loved SX-70 polaroid camera, scanned and archivally printed on 24” x 24” fine cotton rag paper.

Whatever the process, Blyth’s work is, as the painter and poet, Peter Sacks noted, a blend of “precision and mystery, of articulation and atmosphere.” Her images leave us with the feeling of ongoing action despite the apparent stillness; of qualities both dreamy and stark as light hits a stand of birch trees in a valley or a group of buildings in New York City. As Morris Louis evolved a style of painting that produced a complete integration of paint and canvas, so too has Blyth, with photo paper and chemicals, created a perfect integration of method and content.

Michael Sibilia: 10 Days in Alaska

I arrived in Anchorage New Years Day depressed; I stayed that way for the next ten days. The unseasonable temperature’s hit a high of -5 with lows of -31.The good and bad news was the sun rose at 10:00 and set at 3. With such a short day the light was usually magnificent, but there was a haunting quality about it. People were scarce and the world felt dead. I think I was on the bridge to nowhere.
So writes environmental photographer Michael Sibilia on his 2009 journey to Anchorage, Alaska. For ten days Sibilia photographed the frozen landscape around him; a landscape breathtaking in its majesty, in spite of ever expanding industrialization. A Hudson Valley resident, Sibilia has been practicing the art of photography for over 30 years. As a freelance photojournalist, he has been afforded the opportunity to experience the diverse scenery of the United States, and most recently, Suchitoto, El Salvador.
From these self-assignments, Sibilia brings back a unique view of the world, which he then translates into large scale prints. The photographs, he says, provide just a hint - an impression - of his sublime subjects: “I have spent my entire life wandering and wondering, it is just the way I am, and for me, the camera has always been the way to best express what I could never put into words.”

Birgit Blyth

Michael Sibilia