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Annete Helm, Today

Andrew Kreps Gallery
525 West 22nd Street, 212-741-8849
October 28 - December 22, 2010
Reception: Thursday, October 28, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce its first exhibition with German artist Annette Kelm, which is also the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York. For her show, entitled Today she will present a group of recent works produced in 2010 along with others created specifically for the show.

The photographs by artist Annette Kelm (born in Stuttgart in 1975, lives and works in Berlin) appear to perpetuate traditional forms of photographic representation in an unspectacular way: i.e. they comprise still lifes, portraits, object photographs, architectural and landscape photographs in medium-sized formats, which tend to be based on conventional studio and landscape practices.

Kelm works traditionally; her photographs are taken with an analogue middle and large-format camera and are individually handmade. She produces both individual and series of works with individual motifs and, in her exhibitions, shows a combination of photographs that refuse to submit to a single reading of a theme or concept. Kelm follows conceptual and critical strategies in that she photographs objects, architecture and design that refer to historically significant correlations. At the same time, she undermines the promise of objectivity in her works by adding props that seem surreal or appear to belong to a subjective mythology. The subjects are often presented against a neutral background in the style of traditional studio photography. However, the background is so present that it becomes part of the foreground and the photographed objects themselves.

In Untitled’ (Plates), 2010 Kelm has arranged a small branch in a handmade jar placed in front of four paper plates printed with a multicolor pointillism-confetti pattern in her studio. The setup is carefully lit from behind to prevent the objects from casting shadows, and is shot in front of white, used Styrofoam where traces of dirt and footprints are visible. Untitled (Drift Wood Lamp), 2010 – a six part series showing a 50’s Cypress Knee Lamp shot in front of a stark white background. The lamp seems to free-float – cropped in front of a white photo backdrop. In different stages of falling, the object revolves as if in slow motion. Sale, 2010 which features a ‘sale sign’ placed in front of a red and white checked fabric. The triptych uses the same negative three times, once turned upside down and once mirrored horizontally – and the operation of the sale sign is mirrored in another work in which a row of cards leaned against one another are placed in front of a printed fabric patterned with stylized icons representing the poker game of Texas Hold’em. Objects, fabrics and patterns are combined and repeated – emerging from the background to the fore, giving visual weight to what might appear to be innocuous props. Her photographs are realistic in their effect but oscillate between precision and ambiguity, and transmit her motifs into a complex visual economy that is in constant flux.

Annette Kelm had solo shows at Kunsthalle Zurich, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Kunsthaus Graz Camera Austria, Wattis Institute, San Francisco, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Johann Konig, Berlin, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, Gio Marconi Gallery, Milan.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcat12383 to see them here.