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If humans abandon their domicile – what imprint or essence do they leave behind? Mark Ruwedel’s second solo exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery, in its new location on 10th Avenue, delves poignantly on this question with his black and white photographs. An opening reception last Thursday, March 1, 2012 showcased the work of this eloquent artist of the camera lens with the exhibition entitled “Records”.

 

The silver gelatin photographs of homes and landscapes were made in the desert regions surrounding Los Angeles, from the western Mojave Desert to the Salton Sea region, as well as in Utah and on a small island in British Columbia. In selected groupings and arranged to highlight parallel realities of certain structures, one is inclined to observe evocative moods in its stark medium.

 

In the Splitting series, there are two houses that are seemingly like twins cleaved in the middle by the rigors of harsh elements. Actually, one of them was taken in the California Valley and the other from the Salton Sea. In the titular series Records, this solidly focused on the remnants left near the abandoned homes of old LP’s dotting the landscape which serve as the embodiment of what desolate relics signify. There was life once in those said homes but now it’s all a ruined reality. Bomb Craters are photographs of the salt flats of the Wendover Air Force Base in Nevada and Utah where the military dropped explosives in training, creating unintentional earthworks. The magnitude of violence creates such haunting beauty in a terrain that is brutal.

Ruwedel makes the case with this collection of photographs that depict the lost luster of promise and the desolate reality. The images in black and white require a skillful treatment to express layers of thought and yet allow the stark naked truth to come out unabashedly. Humanity will make its imprint and when it decides to dissipate into the wind – we’re left with nothing but a haunting memory and the whispered promise of what could have been.

 

Mark Ruwedel “Records”

On view: March 1 – April 7, 2012

Gallery Schedule:  Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

Yossi Milo Gallery

245 Tenth Avenue

New York, NY 10001

Article by: Oscar A. Laluyan

 

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