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CLAMPART: Bill Armstrong: Film Noir & John Bailly: Place of Mind" - 21 Feb 2013 to 6 Apr 2013

Current Exhibition

21 Feb 2013 to 6 Apr 2013

521-531 West 25th St
Ground Floor
NY 10001
New York, NY
New York
North America
T: +1 646.230.0020
F: +1 646.230.8008

Bill Armstrong
Untitled (Film Noir #1433)

Artists in this exhibition: Bill Armstrong, John Bailly

Bill Armstrong | Film Noir

February 21 – April 6, 2013
Artist’s reception:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is pleased to announce Bill Armstrong’s fourth exhibition at the gallery. Film Noir is new work from the artist’s “Infinity” series, a vast ongoing project that he has been developing for more than fifteen years. Film Noir revisits the themes of the classic black-and-white films of the 1940s and 50s, but with the lush, saturated colors for which Armstrong is now well known. Solitary figures contemplating the unknown reference the ethical and philosophical dilemmas laid bare in those stories. Armstrong’s dark, mysterious images remain unresolved, however, hinting at the increased uncertainties of the contemporary viewpoint.

Film Noir is made from appropriated images taken from a variety of sources—advertising, stock material, landscape painting—which are then collaged and re-photographed out of focus as Armstrong subverts the photographic process, setting his lens at infinity (normally used for distance) and then shooting close up. His technique of extreme blurring de-materializes the figures, transforming them from the mundane to the ephemeral. His meditative pieces transport the viewer to another world, as he blends and distills hues to create a sophisticated chromatic psychology.

Armstrong has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for many years. His work was featured in a two-person exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008 and in a mid-career retrospective at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach in 2010. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Vatican Museum, Rome; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Bibliothèque national de France, Paris; among many others. He has exhibited work in numerous other museums including the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Hayward Gallery, London; Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan; and FOAM, Amsterdam

One of Armstrong’s images was chosen for the cover of The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography by Lyle Rexer (Aperture, 2009). His work appears in Face: The New Photographic Portrait by William Ewing and Exploring Color Photography by Robert Hirsch, among other books. He has also been published in numerous periodicals and newspapers including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s and Eyemazing. Armstrong is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts.

John Bailly | Place of Mind

February 21 – April 6, 2013
Artist’s reception:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is proud to present “John Bailly: Place of Mind.” The mixed media works in the “Place of Mind” series are the result of Bailly’s collaboration with critically acclaimed Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco (whom President Barack Obama recently named inaugural poet, following in the footsteps of such luminary writers as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou). The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA), where larger paintings and other works on paper from the “Place of Mind” series will be on display from April 5 – June 8, 2013. (The UMMA show, coordinated by Director and Curator, George Kinghorn, will travel, and is available for immediate bookings.)

The artworks composing “Place of Mind” include maps of various cities, figurative elements, random images, and hand-drawn text that are visual responses to Blanco’s poems. The collaboration between Bailly and Blanco explores the traditional parameters of the text-to-image relationship. Rather than having text describe image or image illustrate text, Bailly’s artworks and Blanco’s poems juxtapose each other in an indirect manner. Often subtle, sometimes vague, and rarely obvious, the relationship between the paintings and poems are for the audience to deduce. Addressing issues of self-reflection and cultural identity in their work, Bailly and Blanco aim to send the audience on their own journey while contemplating the meanings of the works.

Carlos Suarez de Jesus writes: “When two worlds collide, mayhem or genius can ensue. Consider the freestyle fellowship that has developed between painter John Bailly and poet Richard Blanco, and the latter rings true. . . The gang of two has spun what might be read as dynamic visual diaries by engaging in a conversational collaborative process, which allowed the raw intensity of their personal dramas and musings on history to flow.”

John Bailly was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire in 1968, of a French father and an American mother. He was raised in Paris, Aix-les-Bains, Long Island, Lyon, and Miami. He received his MFA from Yale University in 1993 and is a Fellow of the Honors College at Florida International University.

For more information please contact Brian Paul Clamp, Director, or visit the gallery’s website at ClampArt is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Brian Finke
JoJo Whilden

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