Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Paul Caponigro at the Peter Fetterman Gallery

We live in a digital era and benefit mightily from a near limitless capacity to download, store, manipulate, and enjoy images and music from every corner of our planet at any time of day or night.

For this we are thankful.

If you are of a certain age – or are preternaturally wise – then you also understand that our universe consists of much more than an infinite arrangement of discontinuous values and binary numeric forms.

Rose Bowl, Paul Caponigro, 2002

The best way to remind yourself of this is to spend some time with the wondrous nature studies and landscapes of photographer Paul Caponigro, now on display in a small gem of an exhibit at the Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica.

Caponigro is a temporal, as well as stylistic contemporary of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

Like those two masters, Caponigro provides a window into our inner lives. He shows us both the intense physical beauty and transcendent incorporeality that co-exist in nature's simplest forms.

Winter Woods, Paul Caponigro, 1972

Thus, the glorious contours of a rose in full bloom nestled in a wooden bowl represent sensuality and spirituality at the same time. An apple becomes both an object of mystery and a thrilling metaphor for distant, dark worlds to be explored far beyond our own.

Caponigro takes photographs the old-fashioned, that is to say non-digital, way. He prints his work as his artistic forbears did – in a darkroom, not with a computer and ink jet printer.

The silver gelatin prints themselves are stunning, luminous, masterly, exquisite, contradictory; they calm you, lull you and exhilarate you at the same time.

Still going strong at 77, Caponigro is also an accomplished musician. As you lose yourself in the profound imagery on view at the Fetterman Gallery, recordings of piano sonatas played by the photographer filter softly through the gallery.

For a moment, all seems right with the world.

"In the Presence of Paul Caponigro" is on view through June 6 at Peter Fetterman Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Call (310) 453-6463 for exhibition hours.

No comments :

Post a Comment