Book Review: Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall

From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.

The beautifully abstracted photographs of intimate items of clothing animated by the wind, and kites dancing in the sky are the focus of Sally Gall in Heavenly Creatures. Blue skies provide the background for fanciful objects which are full of motion and mirth. Viewing her work is like listening to, and appreciating, a transcendental poem – its a mystical experience that transforms the tangible into eloquent abstraction.

Gall was first drawn to the swirling movement of color overhead when she visited a town in Italy and noticed laundry hung out to dry. The opportunity to explore the potential for this series of images came after recognizing the human story behind the articles of clothing. Who wore those jeans, whose dress is that? –  the images seemed to ask. The intimate objects hung in a public space transcended mere fabric billowing in the breeze.

Gall pursued the project by traveling to locations she felt would capture the sensual combination of light, wind and colorful fabrics in coastal towns in Italy, Cuba and Croatia. Her images of kites shot on a Pacific beach, Italy, Denmark or New Jersey add other elements of abstraction that evoke the feeling of floating creatures or diaphanous objects in water; jellyfish, plankton, kelp, or floating flowers.

In her text included in Heavenly Creatures, Gall makes a point to mention that after being a black-and-white photographer for over thirty years, “I felt the allure of ecstatic color.” She started making images “increasingly evocative of Miro, Kandinsky, and other non-representational painters I admire.” Gall also comments, “I left the horizon behind, abandoned all referential context, and used the power of the sky as a field on which to explore the painterly elements of line, form, shape, color, pattern, and texture.”

A peaceful, tranquil feeling settled over me when looking at Gall’s work. It made me consider if the camera was pointed down in to water, or skyward toward the heavens. Her images delight; the gentle flow of fabrics contrasted against pops of bright color, the abstracted lines of a fringed blouse fluttering in the wind, billowing bedlinen, and an anthropomorphic polka dotted kite which evokes a dancing dress, a tropical fish and a soaring bird, all at the same time.

From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


From Heavenly Creatures by Sally Gall, published by powerHouse Books.


Heavenly Creatures
by Sally Gall
Meditation by Eric Fischl
Hardcover, 13 x 8-6/7 inches, 104 pages
ISBN: 978-1-57687-916-0
Published by powerHouse Books

Sally Gall is a photographer living and working in New York City. In addition to her fine-art career, she teaches photography and creates commissioned work. Her photographs are in numerous museum and private collections and she has a 30-year history of gallery exhibitions. Gall has been awarded several prestigious fellowships which include two MacDowell Colony Residencies and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship. She has published two previous books, The Water’s Edge (Chronicle Books, 1995) and Subterranea (Umbrage Editions, 2003). Gall is looking forward to her 13th solo show at the Julie Saul Gallery in 2019 to accompany Heavenly Creatures.

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Marcus Leatherdale @ THROCKMORTON FINE ART

Andy Warhol, 1985

Marcus Leatherdale: OUT OF THE SHADOWS Photographs New York City 1980-1992
Nov 7, 2019 – Jan 11, 2020

“Leatherdale’s stylized shots of the 1980s In Crowd, pay homage to a generation of celebrities that personified with city’s vibrant bohemian tempo south of 14th Street.

While many of his subjects have long passed, Leatherdale’s images seem immortal – reminiscent of a time that defined a generation.

So much has occurred since then, but the spotlight did not fade for many beloved icons – Andy Warhol, Tina Chow, Keith Haring, John Sex and International Chrysis, to name a few – the faces and forms that created a glamor unmatched since the Eighties.”

145 East 57th Street Third Floor 212 223 1059

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Boy at Bottom of Stairs, Guanajuato, 1993; Photograph © Harvey Stein 2018



“Harvey Stein’s fascination with Mexico began when he was a teenager. Compared to the ordinary surroundings of his youth in Pittsburgh, Mexico seemed an extraordinary place that was nearby, yet so far away. When he became a professional photographer he knew this was his chance to immerse himself in Mexico. During fourteen trips between 1993 and 2010, he photographed in Mexico, primarily in small towns and villages and mostly during festivals (Day of the Dead, Easter, Independence Day) that highlight the country’s unique relationship with death, myth, ritual and religion. Mexico Between Life and Death is the definitive expression of the photographer’s intimate relationship with the people and culture of Mexico.”


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17 octobre au 30 novembre

“More than half of the planet’s population now lives in cities, including the mega-cities of Asia, Africa and South America. In these huge urban agglomerations, overpopulation, poverty, housing, transportation, insalubrity, energy supply and social inequities pose significant challenges. Between 2015 and 2016, Morten Andersen traveled to Mexico City, Cairo, Mumbai, Calcutta, Dhaka, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Jakarta and Lagos to photograph life in all its forms. Two years later, in 2018, he published Fast Cities (Journal), a book that brings together more than 200 photographs from his various travels: made with a small digital camera, the images are raw, brutal sometimes in their crudity; the work on the color (with the blue as dominant colour) and the textures (the pixels are sometimes visible: they seem to derealise the image) are extremely precise. Between noise and fury, we are sometimes close to the world of cyber-punk (Blade-runner, Dead substance). Intertwined with these urban images, will be exposed to Zoème some photographs from Leira, work on the landscapes around the river of his native region in Norway, that Morten Andersen realized between 2005 and 2006.”

8, rue Vian
13006 Marseille

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Peter Ydeen @ Susquehanna Art Museum

Peter Ydeen: Easton Nights
November 1st through January 10th

“Ydeen explores the Easton area at night, discovering the ethereal presence of contrasts and colors. As if lighting a classical still life or stage set, Ydeen takes advantage of the lights in the city which highlight his subjects. Coupled with the pink light emitted by the sodium vapor streetlights, Easton at night becomes a silent city of lit stages bathed in unreal color and shadows.”

Susquehanna Art Museum
1401 North 3rd Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17102

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Positive Slope: Stories of Chicago Public Schools @ Firecat Projects

© Marzena Abrahamik

Positive Slope: Stories of Chicago Public Schools
October 4 – 19

Opening Reception: October 4 | 7 – 10 PM

“Firecat Projects is pleased to present Positive Slope: Stories of Chicago Public Schools, an exhibition of work by CPS Lives photographers. Featured artists include Marzena Abrahamik, Kioto Aoki, Kris Brailey, Suzette Bross, Doug Fogelson, Scott Fortino, Jim Iska, Michelle Keim, Carlos Matallana, Janet Mesic-Mackie, Jeff Phillips, Eileen Ryan, Jaclyn Silverman, Sa Schloff, Jan Tichy and Jay Wolke.”

Firecat Projects
2124 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL

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Shinya Masuda @ Carnegie Center for Creativity

Image © Shinya Masuda

Shinya Masuda: Hanafuda Shodoku
October 9 – November 2, 2019

Artist Talk and Reception Saturday, October 12 at 6:00 pm with a reception following

Carnegie Center for Creativity
200 Mathews Street
Fort Collins, CO

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Kiliii Yuyan @ Museum of Art Fort Collins

Image © Kiliii Yuyan

Kiliii Yuyan: People of The Whale
October 11 – January 5, 2020

Reception and Artist talk: Thursday, November 7th, 2019

“Kiliii Yuyan’s mission is to present the story of relationship between people and the natural world. His long-form projects present an alternative vision of humanity’s true wealth—community, culture and the land.

Decades of wilderness experience have been critical for Kiliii’s projects across extreme and remote environments such as the Arctic. On assignment, he has fled collapsing sea ice, weathered botulism from fermented whale blood, and found kinship at the edges of the world. In addition, Kiliii builds traditional kayaks and contributes to the renewal of northern indigenous culture.”

Museum of Art Fort Collins
201 S. College Ave.
Fort Collins, CO

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Charles Rozier @ Carnegie Center for Creativity

Charles Rozier: House Music
October 9 – November 2, 2019

Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, November 1, 2019

“House Music is a collection of intimate photographs, spanning almost thirty years, that chronicle seemingly quotidian moments in the lives of multiple generations of the photographer’s extended family. Training the camera on those closest to him, Charles Rozier brings the sensibility of a street photographer to his own domestic setting. This is a body of work that transcends convention and the particularities of his own circumstances to create a story that speaks to universal experience.”

Carnegie Center for Creativity
200 Mathews, Fort Collins, CO

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Seunggu Kim @ The Korea Society

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Seunggu Kim: Better Days
October 3rd to December 18th

reception: November 14th at 6pm

“Better Days is a series of photographs depicting what the artist describes as “Korean spectacles.” South Korea’s rapid development in the last 50 years has caused a lot of social ironies and incongruities, one of them being long working hours with very short period of break. Due to lack of time to travel, many Koreans end up spending holidays mostly around their hometown. The leisure places around Seoul and its suburbs try to entertain their customers by creating events and environments with increasing novelty, and the result is often an interesting blend of nature and artifice.
Using his camera to show the balance between unnatural elements and our own acclimation to the social ironies, Seunggu Kim describes and poses a question about our lifestyle and how we live.”

The Korea Society
350 Madison Avenue, 24th Floor, NYC

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