Critics’ Picks

Miriam Böhm, Mutual II, 2015, UV-digital print on glass, wood, 26 x 31 x 22".

Miriam Böhm, Mutual II, 2015, UV-digital print on glass, wood, 26 x 31 x 22".

San Francisco

Miriam Böhm

Ratio 3
2831a Mission Street
March 13–April 25, 2015

Miriam Böhm’s elegant, nimble photographs are the result of a recursive process in which she modifies a print through some combination of folding and tilting, then documents the resulting shape. Böhm’s work operates through the tradition of still-life photography, but she raises art-historical questions that are crucial to painting as well, investigating how the illusion of space is created in a picture plane and how the position of the viewer affects the perception of this space. The photographs in this exhibition are presented in multiple series exploring permutations of objects, and they make use of textured fabric backgrounds and trompe l’oeil brushstrokes. However, while the process by which these pieces are made is legible, the subjects of the artist’s newest photographs are increasingly abstract, as in the series “Equally” (all works cited 2015), made up of five C-prints that explore the intersections of four white planes against a dark, folded background.

The show also includes a series of three new sculptures, the first she has ever exhibited, translating her concerns with perceptual space into three dimensions. Under the collective title “Mutual,” each work is composed of three glass panes onto which photographs of brown wood-grain stripes are printed directly. The panes are angled such that these stripes create flattened shapes that change with the movement of the viewer, and the panes are also edged by real wood frames that both echo and complicate the configurations created across the glass. Intersecting dramatically with the light that floods through the gallery’s rectangular skylights above these works, even more phantom forms are conjured, through shadows.