Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present Linear Construction from American photographer Barry Underwood from July 30 trough September 11, 2020. This exhibition is the third of the artist with the gallery.
As an environmentalist photographer and ecological advocate Barry Underwood pursues his infinite exploration of natural landscape and their connection to human presence. His innate curiosity about the ecological and social history of specific places drives his practice. As explain the artist, “I strive to foster awareness of environmental change by engaging viewers in unexpected visual hypotheses, offering novel lenses through which to consider the impact of human action on our surroundings, both locally and on a larger scale. I aim for my work to be a platform for conversations concerning environmental issues, using tropes of aesthetic beauty to reach across binary ideological lines”. The work falls within the art historical context of landscape; be it painting, land art or cinema. Landscape allows for certain type of storytelling. Each photograph is a sort of dialogue – the result of my cultural and historical research and my direct encounter with nature.
“Linear Construction” is a series of long-exposure photographic images of sculptural structures built on-site in specific landscapes. “ I construct these tableaus by immersing myself in a given place, researching and instinctively reading the setting, and then temporarily marking the site using foreign light sources and physical processes. The photographic prints are highly aestheticized poetic gestures, emphasizing the interrelationship between the underlying terrain and human incursions into a given location” .
Conceptually the work is situated at the intersection of Land Art, Staged Photography, and Minimalist Sculpture. Using shapes, lines, light, geometry and especially color, my photographs reflect human disturbances, metaphorically suggesting the ways society divides and surveys landscapes or how we humans impose our vision on the natural environment. By introducing flat and abrasive color (or light) into a site, the resulting photographic prints contrast human interference with nature’s visually rich, wide tonal range of ambient hues.
Barry Underwood’s work can be found in the collections of The Cleveland Museum of Art (OH), Elton John Photography Collection (Atlanta, GA), The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), TIAA-CREFF (New York City), and the Rockefeller Family Art Collection (Petaluma, CA), among several others. He has been awarded the Creative Workforce Fellowship through the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (OH), The Cleveland Arts Prize for Visual Arts (OH), and the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award (OH).
Barry Underwood received his Masters in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Barry’s work has also been reviewed in numerous publications, including Color Magazine, the London Times, Spectrum Magazine, Photo+ (Seoul), Picnic Magazine (Tel Aviv), and Vision Magazine (Beijing), as well as featured in Real Simple Magazine.