Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present Frame of View, the third solo exhibition at the gallery by photographer David S. Allee. The exhibition opens on January 17th with a reception for the artist from 6-8pm, and will be on view through February 16, 2013.
In Allee's latest series, Frame of View, he continues to explore the common theme of shifting perceptions of reality in the current digital age of photography. By focusing his lens primarily on the window frame, Allee transforms three-dimensional views, such as a city skyline or an overgrown garden, into the illusion of a two-dimensional picture plane, emphasizing how we increasingly view the world through the frame of a flat surface or screen. This series uses the window and frame as a photographic metaphor for the way modern technology has reshaped how photography is made, viewed, and believed over the last decade.
Frame of View takes its title from the common terms 'frame of mind' and 'field of view', a clear reference to the historical debates between pictorialism and straight photography, as well as Szarkowski's Mirrors and Windows exhibition at MOMA in 1978. The images here urge the viewer to recontextualize and reexamine these discussions in light of the changes in photography as an accurate and true means of representing the visual world. Susan Sontag famously stated, "The painter constructs, the photographer discloses," in On Photography in 1977. This assertion of photography's transparency is less viable now more than ever. Whether a photograph is "real" or "fake" has always been debated, but this distinction is becoming increasingly blurry as most images today are digitally manipulated or composited in ways the viewer will not know.
In Frame of View, Allee takes inspiration from illusionist and tromp l'oeil paintings and focuses on window views ranging from the dramatic to the commonplace. The images challenge the viewer to reconsider what is in front of them - a realist painting, a digitally altered photograph, a view from a window or a 2-dimensional work of art hung on a wall. In fact, Allee does not rely on elaborate staging or computer edits and this work includes both images captured in film as many as 10 years ago alongside recent digital images. Frame of View acknowledges the capacities of our current digital age and stops to consider the changing perception and definition of images, photography, reality, and illusion.
David S. Allee's work has been exhibited widely in major institutions and galleries, including solo exhibitions at Princeton University and the Knoxville Museum of Art and group shows at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Tampa Museum of Art, and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. His photographs are in the permanent collection of major institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Library of Congress, the Foundation Cartier in Paris, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among others. His photographs have appeared widely in publications and journals and were featured in the book City Art, edited by Marvin Heiferman. Mr. Allee lives and works in New York City.