new-york

Rosamond Wolff Purcell

Neikrug Gallery

I went to Rosamond W. Purcell’s show expecting a Polaroid photographer. I found work which at first was barely recognizable as Polaroid photography. Purcell uses Polaroid black and white film, usually 4 x 5, and enlarges the negative. (Color, she says, seems to her “a whole different discipline.”) Her case seemed interesting because it showed a series of elaborations on the original Polaroid processes with which she began her photographic career.

Purcell learned photography with Polaroid materials—a fairly unusual case in itself—but now she seems to have become attracted to the large areas of sensitive shadow and texture evident in the prints shown here, taken from her book A Matter of Time. These pictures of dark, ghostly things quickly captured are far from the miniatures and details of snapshot-size prints included in the show. Clearly she is uneasy with the small format of the Polaroid

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