Interior Worlds: Carruci, Cohen, Fox, Knorr, Letinsky, Terada

12 - 17 January 2010

James Hyman Photography's specially curated space at the London Art Fair presents 'Interior Worlds', an exhibition of recent works by six contemporary photographers who explore their surroundings to emphasise the familiarity and strangeness of their everyday environment. 

Elinor Carucci's fresh take on the established genre of portraiture weaves together intricate strands of the artist's own life. Carucci encapsulates moments of intimacy with her extended family; her parents, her husband and most recently, her young children. Carucci's photographic gaze captures fleeting impressions of intimacy: the trusting closeness of seeing her mother in the bath, the artist visibly distant from her husband after an argument, the vacant stare of the artist in extreme physical pain.

Lynne Cohen's
 carefully framed presentation of found interiors in public buildings such as offices, spas, police schools, laboratories and military training facilities exposes the many decisions which have been made in the construction of these purposeful places. These spaces often retain a modicum of domesticity and through Cohen's lens are can appear both performative and uncanny. A brightly coloured yet windowless room adorned with maps and a playful ladder invites the viewer in, yet upon further investigation this may be the site not of children's play, but of military training for submarine duty. Reading Cohen's immaculately photographed interior spaces ricochets the viewer off sparse visual clues, leaving narrative dangling between levity and gravity.

Anna Fox takes an objective focus to her own memories in her series '41 Hewitt Road', a compilation of images taken in the artist's own home in North London. Saturated colours describe the details of Fox's surroundings and her improvised archival presentation of everyday objects. Taken together these yield a rarefied mix of sentimental remnants and the chaotic aftermath of everyday family life.  

One of Karen Knorr's recent series explores the famously austere minimalism of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye. This house, once built for wealthy patrons now luxuriates in its pristinely maintained, empty state as a museum of high culture. Unexpectedly, these spaces are occupied not by the foreseen human subjects but by birds, in playful transgression of the sanctity of this museum space. 

Laura Letinsky's elegiac photographs of detritus on a table-top are both elegantly prosaic and art historically resonant in their reference to Dutch vanitas still life painting of the Seventeenth Century. Letinsky's choice of objects is compelling for the potential of both implicit narrative and the creation of visually challenging compositions. Lyrical and formal, the subjects are dissolved by varied colours of light, often set off against white walls and tablecloths whose angled shadows and subtle textures add a further dimension to Letinsky's unusual perspectival presentation: a glass perched precariously by the edge of a tabletop, a fruit hovering above its expected visual plane or a wilted flower gazing at its younger self in the trompe l'oeil of a tissue box. The vectors of Letinsky's composition defy gravity, definitive narrative and even the arresting temporality of photography itself. 

Black and white photographs by Mayumi Terada evoke moods that hover in the liminal place between dream and wakefulness. Seemingly commonplace chairs, windows, halls and bedrooms lie still and empty yet wear traces of implied narrative and symbolism. These constructs are the result of the artist's creation of miniature interiors which are then staged, lit and photographed. Theatres of the everyday and emotionally charged signifiers of the aftermath of a relationship, Terada's compositions have resonance with the viewer's own interior world.  

All six of these contemporary artists are represented by James Hyman Photography. The gallery's photography programme is part of its wider commitment to Modern and contemporary art.