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'Urban Luminosity' series celebrates architecture

Published 12:31 pm, Saturday, November 23, 2013

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  • Large-scale photographs from American photographer Michael Eastman's "Urban Luminosity" series, "Golden Atrium, Shanghai, 2012," will be on display at Heather Gaudio Fine Art in New Canaan through Jan. 25. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    Large-scale photographs from American photographer Michael Eastman's "Urban Luminosity" series, "Golden Atrium, Shanghai, 2012," will be on display at Heather Gaudio Fine Art in New Canaan through Jan. 25. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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A solo exhibition of large-scale photographs from American photographer Michael Eastman's "Urban Luminosity" series will be on display at Heather Gaudio Fine Art through Jan. 25.

Taken throughout Asia and North America over a four-year period, the images portray urban architectural landmarks in nighttime scenes. Eastman achieves a dreamlike effect in his work and discovered that "photographing at night is like entering a whole new world."

The exhibition is the artist's second solo show at the gallery, 21 South Ave., New Canaan.

Barry Friedman Ltd. featured "Urban Luminosity" at Art Miami 2012 and the series received widespread acclaim building upon Eastman's recognition among art connoisseurs and art enthusiasts alike.

"Taking the familiar elements of daily urban living and focusing our attention on the very building blocks of which they are comprised is a cornerstone of Michael Eastman's oeuvre," Carole Hochman, director of Barry Friedman Ltd., said. "It is evident yet again in this collection of works as they document contemporary architecture in modern cities, capturing still moments of a fast-paced environment."

In the series, Eastman explores how light plays off abstract surfaces at night and chooses varied subject matter, including iconic works by architectural masters Eero Saarinen and Frank Gehry. Eastman pays homage to his hometown of St. Louis by capturing the Gateway Arch and offers a nod to the 50th anniversary of the monument's construction. The series also brings Manhattan into view with a dreamlike shot of the Tourneau building.

"Almost all of the `Urban Luminosity' photographs are made after dark and therefore require very long exposures -- up to 10 minutes," Eastman said. "Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to pre-visualize the image. When the processed negatives are scanned and the image appears on the computer screen, the results are revealed for the first time. It is a very compelling moment, as the previously unseen subtle traces of light and faint reflections emerge as stunningly bold fields of color and unexpected compositions."

The range of his oeuvre is diverse, including such themes as horses, sublime landscapes and urban and European architecture. His publications include his most recent, "Havana," as well as "Vanishing America" and "Horses." His photographs are featured in Rainer Maria Rilke's book, "Auguste Rodin."

Eastman has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has been published in Time, Life and the New York Times. His photographs are included in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For information, visit heathergaudiofineart.com or call 203-801-9590.