Jessica Eaton’s photographs have been showing up online in a few places recently. I am very curious to see them in real life, because it seems like they are approximating painting, not in the pictorial or representational way that Hans Aarsman has already so comprehensively demolished, but in the physical or material way that makes it absurd to really try to look at a Barnett Newman painting on the internet.
Chris Schreck pointed to a review of one of Eaton’s recent shows. This review is noteworthy in that it spends a lot of effort picking apart the process she uses to make her photos, and offers very little in the way of writing about the images themselves. After spending paragraph after paragraph dissecting the way in which Eaton makes her photographs, this is the only discussion of the actual images:
“As did the rather dry methodologies of Albers and LeWitt, Eaton’s systematic approach yields surprisingly poetic results. […] Her cubes bloom and glow, their real-life austerity alchemically transformed into unexpected opulence.”
Leaving aside the incredibly awkward beginning to that first sentence—a construction that the author used twice, is there now something wrong with the word “like”?—nothing up to this point gives any clue as to why it should be surprising that the images are poetic, or why opulence would be unexepected. (On the one hand, I can dimly make out what the author is trying to say there. On the other, in the 21st century aren’t we always expecting opulence?) As an “article,” this piece really piqued my interest in Eaton’s work, but as a “review,” I’m hoping for more.
I’m too lazy to tag posts these days because my blog software makes it unnecessarily difficult (working on that), but otherwise I’d tag this with “pedantic.”