Light Work Annual 2012: Michael Tummings

Norfolk Boy I, 2010, Michael Tummings

A formal portrait of a youth follows the most distinguished conventions of old master portraiture. He stands in the foreground, facing forward, and is shown full-length. Myriad details define social standing and skills, notably the pair of pheasants dangling from each hand like attributes of old. In the light, cool tonality of its palette as well as the precise composition, this photograph evokes one of the most famous figure paintings of the eighteenth century, Watteau’s Giles. Regardless of whether that allusion was intentional, what is remarkable is the gravitas Michael Tummings provides to his subjects. Here in the cold morning light of eastern England a ritual as old as time helps usher this boy into manhood.

— Elizabeth A. Brown, former chief curator of the Henry Art Gallery

Read the rest of the essay in Contact Sheet 167: The Light Work Annual 2012.

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From the Files: Alessandra Sanguinetti

At Light Work we hosts exhibitions in our main gallery four times a year. The shows feature work by cutting-edge artists who receive recognition not only in our gallery but also in the issues of Contact Sheet that are published concurrently with the exhibitions. For many artist, this is their first significant national exposure.

Alessandra Sanguinetti was a Light Work Artist-in-Residence in 2002. In 2003, she had an exhibition of her work in the main gallery. The subject of this exhibition was a series of images that she began making while photographing farmers and their lives on the land around Buenos Aires, Argentine. Sanguinetti met two cousins, Guille and Belinda, ages 9 and 10, and started a five-year collaborative project. Sanguinetti explored the girls’ growth into young adults by photographing them in their fantasy and dream spaces. The resulting images became the exhibition The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams and the subject of Contact Sheet 120. (Sorry, the print edition of Contact Sheet 120 sold out long ago, but of course you can look at it, and every other Contact Sheet ever published, online by purchasing a paid subscription, which gets you access to our fabulous Digital Archive. Click here for details.)

While her exhibition was in the main gallery, a group of local children came in for a tour. Sanguinetti was in town at the time and happily talked with them about the work. The pictures you see here are just three of the dozens of thank you notes sent to the artist by the children after their visit. Enjoy!