Los Angeles

Edmund Teske

Ceeje Gallery

The roots of Mr. Teske’s imagery are with the great photographers of the 1930’s, yet what is presented here is truly the work of a modern. In the series of 34 prints dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright, titled “Resurgence” there is, without embarrassment, acknowledgement of the traditions of vision pioneered by Edward Weston and Walker Evans. Wilted flowers, weathered wooden crucifix, and blowing curtains are all symbols of a temporal character capturing an extraordinary sense of time: time moving, time stopped, timelessness, all akin to Edward Hopper or even the mystical Chirico. This is the great strength of the series. Not the obsessive concern for the translation of appearances, but the visual image as a record of the passage of time. Etched in the texture of Teske’s reality are the streaks of tears and the scratches of life, a profound sense of the continuum of human feeling which alone renders time meaningful.

Less conventional and possibly more visually interesting are the “duotones,” a type of print which is made by an unspecified treatment applied to a solarized image. The colors obtained in this process can best be described as eerie, while the accidental textures incurred by the wash are exciting. The duotones indicate a particular inventiveness on the part of the artist as well as a determination to transcend the comparatively rigid restrictions inherent in the photographic production of images. Each duotone is unique, which gives the print a kinship with the product of the easel artist and an element of value which derives from the specific accidents and actions involved in its production.

Although the duotones manifest a strong concern for technique, the unpredictable effects of these stains reemphasize the ways in which the wash of existence affects the individual psyche. In this sense, they are appropriate, if not effective symbols for the logical irrationality of reality, relating at once to the more conventional images presented in his other works, as well as to other symbol makers of our time.

Monte Hartman