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Beth Dow, Ruins

Jen Bekman Gallery
6 Spring Street, between Elizabeth St. and Bowery, 212-219-0166
East Village / Lower East Side
April 9 - May 16, 2009
Reception: Thursday, April 9, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Jen Bekman Gallery is pleased to present Ruins, an exhibition of twelve platinum-palladium prints by photographer Beth Dow. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at Jen Bekman Gallery. Her New York City solo debut, Fieldwork, garnered wide acclaim; it was described as “smartly understated and memorable” by Vince Aletti for The New Yorker.

In Ruins, her third body of work, Dow affirms her commitment to the contemporary. With great respect for 19th century photographers Giorgio Sommer, Francis Frith and Felix Bon?ls as well as the tradition of platinum-palladium printing, her overture culminates in a provocative marriage of form and content. The series depicts faux Classical ruins found throughout the Midwest and challenges ideas of authenticity, nostalgia and the particularly American tendency to appropriate history. The gallery’s founder, Jen Bekman notes,

Dow has successfully combined the American vernacular tradition in photography with an alternative photographic process, and she’s created something entirely new. Because she reveres the traditions she is working from, she resists the easiest escape from them, irony and condescension, making her achievement incredibly remarkable.

Dow’s work has been exhibited at numerous institutions in the United States and Europe. She won the 2008 Photography.Book.Now / Blurb Competition and was nominated for the 2009 Santa Fe Prize as well as for the 2008 Aperture West Book Prize. She is a past recipient of the McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Her photographs have been featured in Black and White Magazine, the British Journal of Photography, Ag Magazine, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Vince Aletti reviewed her first New York solo exhibition for The New Yorker.
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