According to the Laws of Chance

May 31–August 16, 2024
Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery
Reception: Friday, July 26, 5-7pm

According to the Laws of Chance is a subtitle included in many works by the Dadaist painter Jean Arp that describes his systematic yet chance-driven method of creating his simple and playful paintings. Arp would let torn pieces of paper fall to the floor to determine his painting or collage compositions. Although the outcomes are different, Arp’s ethos can be found in the work of the photographers selected for this group exhibition.

The artists in this exhibition—Cheryl Miller, Claire A. Warden, Jaclyn Wright, Josh Thorson, Kyle Tata, Louis Chavez, and Will Stith, and Light Work’s collection artists, Cecil McDonald, Jr., James Welling, Peter Finnemore, and Rita Hammond—are using and defining chance as a core element of their largely divergent practices.

Chance is a core tenet of photography. The image-makers in this exhibition embrace the unpredictable and find ways to amplify chance for conceptual and creative purposes. These artists interpret chance via darkroom and analog experimentation, conceptually driven exploration, daily image-making, and studio-based arranging. The results of these methods are surprising expressions of each artist’s voice. Together they showcase the wide-ranging use of chance and highlight it as a vital tool in contemporary photographic practice.

About the Artists:

Cheryl Miller (b. Jamaica, Queens, 1953, lives in Boston), Claire A. Warden (b. Montréal, 1988, lives in Phoenix, AZ), Jaclyn Wright (b. Peoria, IL, 1986, lives in Salt Lake City, UT), Josh Thorson (b. Forest City, IA, 1978, lives in Old Chatham, NY), Kyle Tata (b. Baltimore, 1990, lives in Los Angeles), Louis Chavez (b. Bakersfield, CA, 1985, lives in Rochester, NY), Will Stith (b. Tampa, FL, 1979, lives in Syracuse).

About the Collection Artists:

Cecil McDonald, Jr. (b. Chicago, 1965, lives in Chicago), James Welling (b. Hartford, CT, 1951, lives in New York City), Peter Finnemore (b. Llanelli, Wales, 1963, lives in the Gwendraeth Valley, Wales), Rita Hammond (b. Syracuse, 1924, d. Baldwinsville, NY, 1999).