JEFFERSON HAYMAN
March 9-April 17, 2011


The Robin Rice Gallery announces Objects, Cityscapes, and Figures, a solo exhibition of photographs by Jefferson Hayman. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday March 9. The show runs through April 17.

Hayman's silver gelatin prints appear as a collection of small portals that permit viewers a momentary glimpse into another era. Ranging from household items, to portraits, and some of New York City's most impressive landmarks, the photographs' soft focus and pictorialist aesthetic evoke the work of early 20th century photographers Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz.

The granular texture of the photographs—created in the darkroom by diffusing light through semi-translucent layers, each handcrafted by Hayman—make their subjects appear as apparitions emerging from a fog or obscured by a light curtain of white noise. For example, in Kate, a woman with a distant stare, shaded by a bonnet, seems to have recently materialized from the gray matter of her surroundings. Viewers are left to wonder whether they are seeing the woman or her ghost.

Hayman's unorthodox compositions also enhance his work's enigmatic quality. The objects in his photographs are often unbalanced; the faces of his subjects typically turned away or obscured by one of his meticulously handcrafted frames. Pose, the image included on the exhibit invitation, depicts a man's hulking torso from chin to pelvis, his left arm reaching across his body. He is muscled but undefined, his pose guarded and almost modest. The viewer feels like someone intruding on an intimate moment. Like most of Hayman's works, it is as if what was captured on film is only one piece of a longer narrative—and that the true story is occurring beyond the edges of the photograph. “I'm only providing one chapter of the story—it's up to the viewer to write the rest of it,” says Hayman.

Bolstering each image is one of Hayman's carefully selected frames, painstakingly tailored to each photograph. A mixture of antique and contemporary, many were carved and fitted by Hayman himself, a self-taught woodworker. These bespoke pieces are often fitted to mere millimeters from the photo's edge, drawing the viewers gaze directly to its subject and serving as a powerful bulwark for the image.

“I'm very excited to work with Jefferson,” says Robin Rice. “His consistency, his technique, his subjects, his presentation—each is unprecedented. When these factors converge, they produce photographs that truly differentiate him as an artist.”

Objects, Cityscapes, and Figures is a collection of individual pieces connected by a rare and eerie ambiance—cool, serene, and and quietly unnerving.

Jefferson Hayman grew up in Mechanicsburg PA. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kutztown University, soon after taking a job in a local framing shop—a position that would significantly influence his approach to photography. Jefferson has exhibited his work worldwide. His photographs are also included in the Museum of Modern Art's collection. He lives in Tappan, NY, just outside of New York City—a place which continues to provide him with boundless inspiration. This is his first solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery.

You can view the entire exhibit at http://www.robinricegallery.com.