Kaitlyn A. Kramer

  • View of “Erica Baum and Libby Rothfeld: AAa: Quien,” 2017.
    picks January 23, 2017

    Erica Baum and Libby Rothfeld

    Four photographs document veils of chalk dust on abused blackboards. Abandoned bits of hastily written text appear everywhere. Chalk gathers in the slates’ cracks, while drips of water vanquish any worthwhile messages. Erica Baum gets intimate with these relics of language and pedagogy. She captures every detail, as if she’s quietly recording the discovery of a new language.

    Baum made her “Blackboard” series, 1994–96, while studying at Yale. She photographed these slates in empty classrooms to reveal images—perhaps culled from the university’s subconscious—that get made when written language is

  • View of “Francisco Ugarte,” 2016.
    picks July 22, 2016

    Francisco Ugarte

    Slow, accident-prone, temperamental, occasionally indistinct—the slide projector is an endearing thing, as it mimics a range of clunky human idiosyncrasies familiar to us all. It is evocative, nostalgia-inducing. It takes us through the rabbit hole of dreary art-history surveys in overwarm auditoriums, or the dusty rec rooms of distant relatives, where we vicariously relive their vacations, birthdays, barbecues, and graduations. When a projected image hits a taut surface, we can’t help but fall into the rhythms of narrative, picture after picture after picture.

    It’s not that Francisco Ugarte’s

  • Jocelyn Hobbie, Stream, 2015, oil on canvas, 22 x 42''.
    picks May 13, 2016

    Jocelyn Hobbie

    Jocelyn Hobbie’s variations on boredom could make a viewer lie awake at night. Her painted depictions of women frozen in their tedium offer no reference for this absence of joie de vivre, and each flawless beauty appears slightly displaced among her eclectic, patterned wallpaper and vibrant linens, her perfectly made-up face, her icy gaze. This gaze never seeks contact outside of the canvas and it is always vacant. It makes one insane, attempting to rationalize the origin of each woman’s ennui.

    Hobbie’s technical prowess in the fourteen oil paintings on display mesmerizes. Her ability to combine

  • John Houck, Petals and Interleaves, 2016, archival pigment print, 27 1/2 x 32 1/2".
    picks April 22, 2016

    John Houck

    If photography is said to provoke factual recollection, painting aids memory’s embellished tales. John Houck’s recent photographs are made at the dizzying intersection between remembering and retelling. The secrets of their construction slip under the darkened edges of archival prints and the thick lines of paint they depict, where the flatness of each photograph’s surface betrays the layers hinted at within. The works take root in Houck’s “History of Graph Paper” series from 2013, in which photographic still lifes of personal relics serve as backdrops for those same physical objects, placed