Exhibition: June 4 - July 18, 2020
Koplin Del Rio is pleased to present its first ever exhibition of photographs in the gallery's 30-year history. As an introduction to the medium, "Photographs, 2020" presents a group of works varied in technique and subject matter by artists including Ellen Garvens, Kerry James Marshall, Eirik Johnson & Marsha Burns. Co-curated by Seattle-based artist Graham Shutt and gallery director, Katelyn Norris, the exhibition invites viewers to consider what it means to look at photographs in an era when millions of new images are created every minute.
"Katelyn and I began organizing Photographs, 2020 in the fall of last year, long before an outbreak of a novel coronavirus became a global pandemic, and long before the death of George Floyd at the hands of police catalyzed our current movement for racial justice. The photographs on exhibition look different to us than they did before these two signal events. That is as it should be. While the photographs may look different, we believe the questions which originally motivated this project remain valid and deserve consideration today. What is the relation, for example, of a coffee cup sitting on your desk to a photograph of the cup? How much of the photograph is a product of the mechanical aspects of your camera? How much of it is a product of your skill as a photographer? What is photography’s relation to other picture-making processes, for example, to drawing and painting as well as to other types of printmaking? How does photography change what you see and believe is worth documenting? The issues raised by these questions are not merely aesthetic in nature; they are practical and ethical as well. They form the tools photographers use to place themselves imaginatively, and therefore effectively, in their lives. They are the tools viewers use to do the same. As we wrote in the original statement for Photographs, 2020, nearly 200 years after its invention in early nineteenth-century France, photography continues to raise such questions, their force undiminished by the endless stream of photographs we take and view with our smartphones each day. To this, we may now add the digital images that have come to mediate our lives in unprecedented ways." - Graham Shutt