"It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people's mind."
- Roger Ballen, on Boarding House
Jackson Fine Art is please to announce our upcoming exhibitions with Roger Ballen and Angela West. In their featured collections, Boarding House and Trigger, Ballen and West investigate notions of stasis, offering up collections that transform the inanimate into the dynamic.
With Boarding House, Roger Ballen accentuates the peripatetic nature of consciousness, anchoring it in a Dickensian world and focusing on a string of non-sequitors that are at once grotesque and comfortable. His small, square, black-and-white format photographs conflate various planes of the human psyche into a single image, subverting any individual desire to partition dreaming and waking life. When creating the work collected in Boarding House, Ballen collaborated with the residents of Johannesburg warehouse. The result is a series reflecting both an exaggerated theaticality and precision of composition and echoes of his subjects' lived experiences. Utilizing these labyrinthine living quarters, where rooms open into other spaces with only a scrawled-upon rug or an oxidized scrap of metal to distinguish them, Ballen composes images of boundless depth and complexity. Subjects and objects, often functioning identically, emerge within each frame almost silently. In Boarding House, the assumed center of each tableau only signals that there is more to explore, entreating the viewer to work toward gleaning some wisdom from the interrogation of apparent darkness.
We are honored to present Angela West's fourth exhibition at Jackson Fine Art. Trigger is a selection of photographs West has created over the past two years. Referencing still life and tromp l'oeil, these austere photographs submit evocative objects on background of negative space, resulting in an image that demands the viewer to absorb and internalize the meaning of their spartan subjects. Dusted with color from an intentionally quiet palette, the images are titled from song lyrics West gathered while composing the work. Like a collection of songs, the images aim to trigger our memory while creating a contempoaray look at the sentimental and romantic act of gathering, collecting and archiving objects for memory's sake.
Roger Ballen lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a New York native, his interest in photography dates to when his mother worked as a photo editor with Magnum Photos in New York, and tennager Ballen befriended the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, and Elliott Erwitt. He earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley and he completed a PhD in Mineral Economics and established himself as a geologist and mining consultant in Johannesburg. His work has been shown internationally and is featured in a number of permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Johannesburg Art Museum. Ballen's most recent exhibit opens in Oslo Norway at the Stenersen Museum and he has been nominated for the Luci Awards as one of the curators/exhibitions of the year at the George Eastman House and the exhibition Roger Ballen: Photographs 1982 - 2009.
Angela West received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and an MFA from Yale University. Ms. West was the recipient of a 2009 Arcadia Award. She has exhibited at the Pinchuk Art Centre, Kieve, Ukraine, Modern 07 Munich Germany, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, and the High Museum in Atlanta GA to name a few. She was born in Dahlonega, Georgia and works out of Atlanta. Her work is included in prominent collections of the High Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and The Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. as well as the Sir Elton John Collection.