Book Review: 1864 by Matthew Brandt

In 1864, Matthew Brandt recreates George N. Barnard’s 19th century images of a devastated, post-Sherman Atlanta. Using source imagery housed at the Library of Congress, he makes new albumen photographs from Barnard’s images. Fortifying the foundational ingredients of the 19th-century albumen print — egg whites, silver nitrate, and salt — with peaches, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, Brandt plays with external assumptions about the South, at the same time revealing a complex understanding of the complicated history his project explores.

This complexity is addressed in the essay ‘Time and Place’ included by Greg Harris. He speaks to the idea that Brandt seeks to wrestle with the weight of conflict in American society surrounding the Civil War and the lasting impact it has on our culture. Harris also mentions that Brandt came to the work as an outsider with no direct connection to Atlanta or as a resident of the American South. But Brandt wanted to “address the legacy of the Civil War through objects infused with history and place, but spoke to a contemporary context.”

It is worth mentioning to people unfamiliar with Brandt’s work, 1864 does follow in the footsteps as some of his other projects. Brandt incorporates aspects of his subjects into the photographic developing process. His photographs are both of and by their subject. For example, actual source water was used in his portraits of specific Lakes and Reservoirs (in a project by the same name), and he toned Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black photo plates with Flint, Michigan contaminated tap water for his project Bridges Over Flint. The distressed images in their final full-color prints are an engaging exploration in how subject matter and process can make a statement on the debacle that plagues the drinking water supply, and directly impacted the lives of the people living there.


Tongue-in-cheek, aptly conceptualized or not, I can appreciate the manner in which these images were created. I have printed glass negatives from a historic collection, and the flaws, or lack thereof, found in large silver or silver-nitrate negatives produce an image that leaves the viewer with the distinct feeling that they are seeing the same view as the original photographer. A direct contact print from an 8×10 negative is a beautiful, wondrous object. But, images made after a military campaign that crippled the South at the end of the civil war – now suitable to be served with ice cream? Something smacks of either cultural callousness, or witty interplay/overlay of photographic mediums and cooking ingredients to make a comment about the complexity of a 21st century perspective on 19th century America. I cannot decide which way to lean. Perhaps this makes the project stronger; instead of dismissing the work, or losing interest, I’ve sought out the opinion of others and asked myself serious questions about the nature of Brandt’s work.

1864 is printed with a full range of tones and a varnish-like layer that adds depth to the images. I applaud Yoffy Press for taking on this project and making the book a well crafted and presented work. The linen cover evokes a sentiment that fits the time period of the original work, and adds a textural layer of meaning to the presentation of Brandt’s images.

Photographs by Matthew Brandt
Essay by Greg Harris
Hardcover, 10×8 inches
64 pages / 28 images
Limited Edition of 350
ISBN: 978-1-943948-11-6

For more information about the work by Matthew Brandt, please visit his website. To purchase a copy of 1864, please visit the website for Yoffy Press here.

Matthew Brandt is a photographer whose work is in the permanent collections of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Matthew Brandt was one of seven artists featured in the 2015 exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography. Brandt was born in California in 1982, received his BFA from The Cooper Union in New York and his MFA from UCLA. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Yoffy Press was founded by Jennifer Yoffy. She founded Crusade for Art in 2013, a non-profit organization whose mission was to engage new audiences with art. Jennifer owned a fine art photography gallery in Atlanta (Jennifer Schwartz Gallery) for five years, and she co-founded Flash Powder Projects, a photographer-focused collaborative venture and publishing company. In the spring of 2013, she traveled around the country in a 1977 VW bus, engaging audiences with photography.

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Georges Rousse @ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Georges Rousse: IN SITU
JUNE 28 – AUGUST 24, 2018


Sous Les Etoiles Gallery
100 Crosby Street #603
New York City, NY 10012

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Tyler Shields @ Miller Gallery


Tyler Shields
JUNE 21, 2018 – JULY 19, 2018

Opening Reception on June 21st from 6-8pm

“This time, Shields is exhibiting both new works and work from the archives that play off of one another, re-contextualizing the content from several series in one fresh approach. Whether in the quiet strength of dramatic black-and-white, a graphic and bold portrait with red lips, or paint flying through the air, frozen for a moment in time, the work is undoubtedly Tyler Shields. His themes of the gaze, consumerism, fantasy, hyper-realism, an d cinematography are timeless, iconic, and on view at Miller Gallery. ”

Miller Gallery
2715 Erie Avenue
Hyde Park Square
Cincinnati, OH 45208

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Athens Photo Festival 6 June – 29 July, 2018

image: Jessica Wolfelsperger

Athens Photo Festival
6 June – 29 July, 2018

Benaki Museum (Pireos St. Annexe), Athens

Portfolio Reviews
An opportunity for artists to meet with international experts to get feedback on their work as well as to create meaningful connections.

Photo Voices
Under the motto “We Speak Photography”, Photo Voices is designed as a set of short talks to share thought provoking images and words.

Educational programs offer intensive learning experiences for current and future generations of artists and photography enthusiasts.

This one night event brings together multiple perspectives on the use of images –both moving and still– in contemporary culture.

Photography as Performance
Experimenting with the ways through which performance and photography can cross boundaries and create interesting hybrids.

Athens Photo Marathon
Over 1.000 contestants will participate in a “photography marathon”, by recording through their own lens, four given subjects inspired by the urban life and its experience.

For more info:

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Book Review: I Give My Eyes… : Stories + Conversations + Dreams by Brian H. Peterson

Sea of Light #16, 2014

I Give My Eyes… is both spiritual autobiography and a story of healing and salvation. Author, artist, and museum curator Brian H. Peterson looks back on a creative life and reflects on his own search for the deeper layers, the “substrata.” In poetic prose, he ties together private and public, inward and outward journeys, struggling with the realities of advancing Parkinson’s disease while discovering an affirmation of belief that embraces suffering and doubt.

A reflection on faith, art, and Peterson’s ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease, I Give My Eyes… employs bittersweet humor, clear-eyed nostalgia. The book is a collection of interviews Peterson gave with friends and colleagues, a number of stories and prose, and even a dedication speech Peterson gave for the library and research center named for him at the Michener Art Museum. Throughout these sections of writing, photographs by and of Peterson are included.

The writing is largely conversational in style, with a fair amount of rhetoric. The interviews feel direct and present, and only lightly edited – which is refreshing to read. For anyone with a background in visual arts, there is plenty of meat to the stories and aside comments Peterson makes. He doesn’t beat around the bush much, and unabashedly talks about the process of him writing, and readers reading this book. Peterson even goes so far as to tell the reader to be careful. The reader doesn’t know him yet; maybe he is a bitter misanthrope who takes pleasure in messing with people with clever wordsmithing? This cheeky attitude in the prologue reminded me of an interview Gene Wilder gave about his role as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film. Wilder recalled for the interview how his character first appeared on screen. Willy Wonka walks slowly with a cane toward the viewer, when he suddenly vaults into a somersault, pops to his feet and joyfully continues walking with a smile on his face. Wilder said that in doing this, the viewer is forced to question whether they can believe anything Wonka does from that point forward. I don’t believe Peterson is out to deceive his readers; rather he is telling them to bring some healthy skepticism along for the ride. 

Forest Light #14


from #1, 1993-94

Peterson walks through the somber topic of Parkinson’s Disease in a generally lighthearted manner, with gallows humor thrown in for good measure. He is obviously a well educated and well informed person. His career work as a curator, arts administrator and writer shine through in his stories, and we are given the opportunity to get to know a man who has dedicated his life to the things he loves. From a visual standpoint, Peterson’s photographs evoke a feeling similar to photographic giants like Minor White, Brett Weston, and even Jerry Uelsmann; artists who made images that invite the viewer to look at the world surrounding them. Really look, be open to possibility, and be skeptical.

I Give My Eyes… :  Stories + Conversations + Dreams
by Brian H. Peterson
Due Santi Press
Hard Cover ISBN: 978-0-9990375-1-5

To find out more about Brian H. Peterson, please visit his website –
To purchase a copy of I Give My Eyes… click here.

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Roger Mayne and Bill Stephenson @ S1 Artspace

Roger Mayne, Milk delivery, Park Hill Estate, Sheffield, 1961 © Roger Mayne Archive / Mary Evans Picture Library

Roger Mayne and Bill Stephenson: Love Among the Ruins
20 July – 15 September 2018

“Love Among the Ruins: A Romance of the Near Future presents the work of two social documentary photographers Roger Mayne (1929 – 2014) and Bill Stephenson (b. 1955), who documented the first residents of Park Hill from 1961-65 and the last remaining residents of Park Hill’s sister building Hyde Park in 1988 – both landmark buildings which were the product of City Council Architect J. L. Womersley’s pioneering vision for social housing in Sheffield.

The exhibition takes its title from Evelyn Waugh’s satirical short story, which imagines a dystopian future Britain as the result of an overbearing welfare state. Written in 1953, Waugh’s story foreshadowed some of the concerns about the possible social consequences of the government’s progressive post-war approach to rebuilding the country. Including rare documents and archival material, Love Among the Ruins is a re-interpretation of Streets in the Sky, an exhibition by Mayne and Stephenson curated by Matthew Conduit at the Untitled Gallery in Sheffield in 1988. Love Among the Ruins revisits aspects of the original exhibition alongside works not previously shown and includes The Fortress, a film about Park Hill produced by the BBC in 1965 as part of its Landmarks documentary series.

Looking back to the utopian ideals inherent in the architecture of Park Hill and Hyde Park, Love Among the Ruins traces the social history of the two estates, reconsidering the 1988 exhibition 30 years on. As Park Hill is once again undergoing a huge period of reinvention following its Grade II* listing in 1998 and ongoing redevelopment since 2007, Love Among the Ruins offers a moment to reflect on the major changes that the estate has experienced historically and marks the next phase in the evolution of this landmark building.”

S1 Artspace, Sheffield

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COAST TO COAST @ L. Parker Stephenson Photographs

May 19 – July 28, 2018

“Coast to Coast, a group exhibition of photographs exploring places and themes related to the elements, uses and lures of the seaside. The images selected are by American, European and Japanese artists and date from the last 100 years. They include vintage and later gelatin silver prints, color work, photogravure, and a contemporary tintype.”

L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
764 Madison Avenue between 65th and 66th streets

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CLIFFORD PRINCE KING @ Melanie Flood Projects

Lace, Milk, 2016

June 22— July 21, 2018

Friday June 22 6-8pm: Artist Reception

“The act of archiving is an evolving process. It exists within and outside of bodies and spaces and objects. Queer archiving is an art that stretches, extends, and challenges the body and its various constructions. In regards to the black queer body, archiving can act as a mirror, a map, a space of origin, a way to ask difficult questions. In the creation of a “visual diary,” Clifford Prince King’s photographs are reflective of this process–his work acting as a way to challenge, explore, and negotiate concepts of black gay sexuality, masculinity, and community. ”

Melanie Flood Projects
420 SW Washington Street #301
Portland, OR 97204

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Light in Wartime @ Apexart – NYC

Richard Mosse, Safe from Harm, 2012

Light in Wartime
June 7 – July 28, 2018

Featuring Work By: Vartan Avakian, Allan deSouza, Ziyah Gafic, Rula Halawani Nilu Izadi, Seba Kurtis An-My Lê, David Levinthal, Richard Mosse, Jo Ractliffe, Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini

“Light in Wartime brings together photographers whose works shed new light on war, both forensically and symbolically. In a world so hounded by images of war, many of the photographers featured in Light in Wartime challenge the conventions and limitations of traditional reportage, underlining the tensions between art, fiction, and photojournalism. ”

Apexart – NYC
291 Church St, New York, NY 10013

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Constanze Kratzsch @ Gallery Castle Klempenow

Constanze Kratzsch: BEHIND THE TIME
07 July – 12 August

Opening: 07.07. at 4 pm

Gallery Castle Klempenow
96 registered association.
17089 Klempenow

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