M+B is pleased to announce its participation at Paris Photo Los Angeles 2014 from April 25 - 27 in Los Angeles. Please visit us at New York Backlot / Stand G3 where we will be presenting a solo exhibition of new works by Mariah Robertson.
For Paris Photo Los Angeles 2014, Mariah Robertson will exhibit two concurrently produced bodies of work that continue her investigation into the indexical parameters of photography and its potential for performativity and abstraction. Lush and ethereally monolithic works will abut a series of photograms that contrast geometric forms with soft, obscure abstractions.
A box of photo paper in my darkroom got 'blown,' that is, opened in a fully lit room. Photography is all about the control of tiny amounts of light in tiny fractions of time, so that was a pretty gut wrenching, oh no, moment. Rather than throw away a few hundred feet of paper, I kept it for experiments. Having the lights on meant that I could finally use all of the 72 inch paper I had but couldn't get my arms around in the full darkness that you need for color processing. Theoretically they should have been either black or bleached white, but with different dilutions and temperature chemistry combinations they started to turn out like crazy, giant abstract paintings with some strange material presence. It's a roll of the dice, all in one go process, which is hard to fully control. I find the emotional effect of their presence bypasses reason and intellectual functions in an unsettling manner. Confusion on this topic of feelings led me back to a box of abstract photograms I made in 2000-2003 with colored gels and geometric masks. There was one that I hated at the time that ten years later turned out to be really special in a way the others weren't. I figured the best way to try to understand this was to make some more. They were made in 'other people's darkrooms' and are very crisp and geometric. The ones that are special have a back and forth of order and chaos.
- Mariah Robertson
Mariah Robertson was born in 1975 and grew up in California. She received her BA from UC Berkeley in 1997 and her MFA from Yale University in 2005. Her work has been exhibited widely at public and private institutions including the current exhibitions What is a Photograph? at the International Center of Photography, New York and A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Other exhibitions include Mariah Robertson at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK; Greater New York at MoMA/PS1, New York (catalogue); Mariah Robertson: Let's Change at Grand Arts, Kansas City (booklet) and Out of Focus at the Saatchi Gallery, London (catalogue). Robertson recently released a leporello bound, scaled reproduction of a 100 foot photograph (currently on view at the ICP) with London-based publisher Self Publish, Be Happy. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and featured in an ongoing documentary for Art 21 titled New York Close Up. Mariah Robertson lives and works in Brooklyn.