Thursday, August 13, 2015

More on Lucere at Kreuser Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 4:10 PM

click to enlarge EDIE ADELSTEIN
  • Edie Adelstein
Today, we took a closer look at Lucere at the Kreuser and Aha galleries, following up on our story about the show from a previous issue (which you can find here).

Lucere consists of 48 "profiles" of locals who have inspired artist and gallery owner Abigail Kreuser, who took photos of her subjects and included snippets from interviews she held. (Disclosure: I am one of them.) Kreuser then took the photos and printed them on watercolor paper, and mounted each on a platform made from composition books and bound it all together with hemp string. Kreuser had planned on a more typical layout, with large-scale photos mounted in frames with artist statements hung nearby, but changed her mind.

"I wanted to do something more non-traditional," she says, "I woke up, literally three weeks before the show [with the new idea.]"

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Such short notice involved some compromises, but Kreuser is pleased with the final product, and hopes to be able to continue the series with re-prints, a possible coffee-table book and even expanding the series count to 100.

About 75 percent of the depicted artists (the term here is used inclusively, as Lucere includes writers, musicians, and curators) came to the opening at the beginning of the month, and were similarly happy with the result, much to Kreuser's relief, she admits with a laugh.

Looking back on the project, which has been her largest thus far, Kreuser reflects on the artists who really let her into their heads, and studios.

"I got to know them at a different level," she says. "So often you're just talking shop."

The show reflects as much, with the answers prompted by the question "What inspires you?" ranging from family, faith and friends, to struggle and even selfishness. Some answers:

Nethery Wylie: "If I do not create every day ... I start to feel bad."

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Gary Jensen: "I feel the need to be understood."

Randal Barbera: "I got into photography with the need to understand light, it is very much akin to the process of poetry ... they are both subtractive arts. You start with an entire sphere of your experience and edit out what is not essential."

Marie David: "My inspiration is a selfishness ... a way of keeping myself more honest with myself. I have spent a lifetime trying to justify this feeling, but it is the only way to stay grounded."

The photographs, meanwhile, are quite varied and sensitive. Kreuser set up a few posed shots, but for the most part captured her subjects working, either in their studios, or playing music in the gallery. They clearly reflect Kreuser's experience in photojournalism and documentary photography. Outtakes and extra shots appear in several collages that accompany the show, which are very fun (details seen left).

It feels something like a high school yearbook, slicing off a moment in time in the community. Less cheesy, of course, and while some may criticize Kreuser's emphasis on positivity here, it hardly negates the passion of the people represented. Here's hoping there is more to come.

Lucere is on display through Aug. 28 

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