PRINT May 2000


IT IS HARD TO TELL with the elliptical art of James Coleman, but Photograph, the newest of his “projected image” works based on a subtle succession of slides in a carousel, seems unusually personal for him. It begins with a sequence of abstract images, blank fields of soft-edged forms and dim auras. Given the work’s title, and Coleman’s acuteness to the qualities and technical histories of his media, the suggestion of out-of-focus or overdeveloped photographs should certainly be taken seriously; the sense that an art form is meditating on itself is a constant with him. Yet the allusion could also be to clouds, to vast outdoor distances, and from there to the nebulous architecture of the sublime. My confession: For me, associations like these, and the body of feeling that comes with them, are deeply linked to the Irish countryside, where I in part grew up and where I know that Coleman (

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