Critics’ Picks

View of “The Inside of the Outside,” 2014.

View of “The Inside of the Outside,” 2014.

New York

Tatiana Kronberg and Anne Eastman

Essex Flowers
19 Monroe Street
October 12–November 16, 2014

“The Inside of the Outside,” an exhibition of Tatiana Kronberg and Anne Eastman, captures the tensions between the concrete and the immaterial inherent to the photographic medium in the context of our contemporary digital age. Kronberg’s large photograms of body parts and floral motifs have a visceral presence, and her unique prints echo the material turn back to traditional methods in photography. In contrast, Eastman nimbly displays her comfort in a wide range of media—from video to photography to installation—all engaged with the existence of the photographic image in a dematerialized format.

In the surrounding objects ~ bowerbird, 2014, Eastman displays nine gray shop stools with rotating double-sided mirrors hung by a thin wire underneath each seat. The mirrors are low and only reflect the viewers’ feet, effectively forestalling the Lacanian moment of self-identification (or the narcissism of the selfie). Analogously, Kronberg’s Love Song Translated #1, 2014, features a brash, white silhouette of hair and hands. In distinction to the openness of Eastman’s mirrors, Kronberg traps her figures in the hermetic space of the black, glossy print.

There is a graceful synchronicity between these two artists’ work. Several of Kronberg’s prints depict plants, harking back to the medium’s early relationship with botany (think William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins). Eastman also returns to the moment before the photographic image in her installation, together unattended, 2000–2011, in which she frames a contorted houseplant within a mobile. The peculiar, tortuous growth of the plant towards the square wall sculpture produces a protofilmic space, the mise–en–scène of a photograph.