By Lindsey Davis
Boston, MA – The Barbara Krakow Gallery’s current exhibition presents the works of Frank Egloff and John Stezaker, two artists with their own methods of questioning reality within their work.
Frank Egloff combines inkjet prints on Mylar, printing one on top of the other so that the two images fade into one another, some suggesting a sense of movement and others a distorted reality. Many of the photographs he works with were captured decades ago, allowing Egloff to combine images that span up to a half-century within a single composition.
Egloff’s print combination, “After Patricia Faure 1972/Janice Guy 1979.3,” reveals a woman with tussled dark hair eyeing the camera casually, overlaid by a landscape print of a similar woman leaning left, with a camera in front of her face. This play between photographer and the photographed would be lost without the realization that these are two very distinct women, with five years separating the two captured instances, overlaid on top of one another here to suggest a sense of connectivity between time, place and person.
John Stezaker connects time and place in a more disjointed fashion, creating “film portrait collages” that involve black-and-white 1950s style portraits with half of the face overlaid by another. The faces on the left never match up quite right with their right-hand counterparts, disorientating the viewer and almost forcing a competition between the two sides of the face.
His piece, “She (Film Portrait Collage) XVII,” is the most accurate pairing, each side showing the earnest smile of a woman. The face on the right side looks like the younger of the two, suggesting a subtle kind of aging — her expression contains a deeper innocence that’s lost on the left where the woman still smiles but with a glaze over her eyes that comes with years of smiling when you don’t feel like it.
Together these works create a sense of misplaced nostalgia, misremembering the past on purpose either because it wasn’t as good as the memories we keep, or because it wouldn’t matter even if the past were perfect since we can only move forward and not back.
(Frank Egloff and John Stezaker: Visible Merge” continues through March 9 at the Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury Street #5, Boston. For more information, call (617) 262-4490.)