Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kat Fisher submits Martha Madigan #9

"Adam and Eve in the Garden" from " Leaf Drawings", 1983
60 x 72 inches, Gold Toned P.O.P. photogram

Martha Madigan is a professor at Temple University who uses a digital and alternative processes in her work. Many of the images that I found of her work were solargrams and cyanotypes. While I love playing around with different processes and learning new methods, at some point there must come a time when thought and concept enter into the work. Madigan's early cyanotype work reads to me more as a learning process where she made mural cyanotypes to kind of figure out the process. Props for doing so, but I am personally not interested in looking at a cyanotype of flowery fences. Not my thing.

When I first heard about this artist I got very excited because I was told she was using digital and alternative process in her work, but the work that I did find on her website doesn't really speak to me. EArlier works from the series "Leaf Drawings' are litterally photograms she made using leaves. Maybe it is my aversion to botanical imagery, but I can't get behind the work. Again i feel that the work reads more as play and experimentation than a finalized concept and body of work.

Clara and Daniel Pranam, 1991
gold-toned printing-out-paper solar photogram
In her more recent work she continues to utilize leaves and flowers and adds the element of the human body. These are more interesting to me because there is a clear human figure that is present in the image. I just cannot get past the leaves! I don't think they are necessary. Maybe if she were printing directly onto leaves that would be something different, but for now I am ambivalent about this artist's work.

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