back at the Water's edge
July 7 - august 19, 2016
Press Release Images
This summer Robert Mann Gallery invites you join us as we revisit a favorite summer destination with the exhibition Back at the Water’s Edge. This group show features work from: Julie Blackmon, Jeff Brouws, Harry Callahan, Joe Deal, Richard Finkelstein, Elijah Gowin, Cig Harvey, Michael Kenna, Michel Szulc-Krzyzanowski, and Henry Wessel. Whether lounging poolside or soaking in the sun on the beach, the water’s edge is a familiar backdrop to all of our favorite summer memories.
In new works from Julie Blackmon we are reminded of chlorine drenched summers and endless afternoons spent near the pool. In some instances the nostalgia is tangible as we recall warming ourselves on the sun-warmed concrete. However upon further inspection certain elements jar with our recollection of summers past: why is that young child holding a red-faced screaming baby? and who left a watermelon with a carving knife so precariously placed near the pool? Clearly the hazards here are more than just the strength of the chosen SPF.
Michael Kenna visits the pristine seaside resorts of France in a group of photographs, but these sights are transformed from ideal retreats to venues with a more foreboding air about them. A cluster of deck chairs are forgotten near the surf, some tipped over as if abandoned in a hurry; a cloudy sky looms, casting heavy shadows over would-be tanning locales; and a series of tents look out over a nearly too still sea.
In works from Harry Callahan and Joe Deal the beach is every bit as enticing as in summers back. Capturing the quintessential shoreside past-time, beach volleyball, Callahan and Mack both pay homage to the sport that turned a flat bed of sand into proving grounds for any summer athlete. Whether the pool was your playground of choice in the summer or the beach was more your speed, Back at the Water’s Edge is sure to spark a memory or two from your own past summers.
A Sly Look at the Pleasures of Summer
PDN | August 12, 2016
The end of summer is beginning to come into view, but there’s still time for a few more days at beach, and there is one more week for “Back at the Waterʼs Edge,” a group summer show at Robert Mann Gallery in New York City on view until August 19, which collects images of water, sand and beach culture from a range of photographers including Julie Blackmon, Jeff Brouws, Harry Callahan, Joe Deal, Elijah Gowin, Cig Harvey, Michael Kenna and Henry Wessel, among others. Callahan’s view of Cape Cod frames an empty beach and lonely volleyball net, and Kenna pictures dark arrangements of beach chairs under cloudy skies, but others are sunnier and less literal. In some, like Blackmon’s sunbathers on concrete, the kiddie pool in the background is an afterthought. In others, like Deal’s studies of the California coast, the beach is compressed into a slim strip by the ocean on one side and ocean-front real estate on the other. And while Cig Harvey makes a splash in one of her self-portraits, in the other, the sea is only a tiny sliver of horizon framing a vast blue sky.