Scratching the Surface examines the junction between photography and drawing by Boston-based photographer Laura Wulf. In her New York debut, Wulf presents fundamental evidence of light applied to color photographic paper by creating a photogram without the use of a negative. She then essentially draws on the paper with a sharp tool to permanently incise the paper below the surface of the emulsion. Some of the cuts are precise and follow the geometric guidelines for three dimensional shapes. Other cuts are more random and involve scraping and sanding of the surface.
Photographyâ€™s invention freed painters from the responsibility of representation and paved the way for the modern exploration of painting materials and of the painting process. Photography finds itself in a historically parallel moment with the advent of digital technology.
Photographers can now create their own fictional documentary, while others, like Wulf, can expand the possibilities of how photographic materials can be used. Color photographic paper is limited in terms of texture and surface, but with Wulfâ€™s mark making and relationships, she is able to achieve a balance between emotive color and impersonal forms.
Laura Wulf received her degree from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1996. She received a Professional Development Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was a finalist for the Maud Morgan Prize from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has exhibited her work at the DeCordova Museum and the Sommerville Museum, both in Massachusetts.