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Martha Madigan: Human Nature

September 22 – November 10, 1994

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Press Release

This is Michael Rosenfeld Gallery's first exhibition of Martha Madigan's photographic work. This exhibition of large scale solar photograms from her Human Nature series explores the delicate balance between life and death, nature and culture, between turning within and turning attention to the outer world. In this series, "body prints" or photograms of life size figures, often children, are combined with elements from nature to create both color and monochromatic works.

Martha Madigan has been working with large scale solar photograms for over twenty years. The series Human Nature began in 1989. The photographic process of both the gold-toned printing-out-paper photograms as well as the "Type R" prints comprises several steps. The image begins with a solar photogram of a figure(s) printed on a contact speed paper known as "printing-out-paper." The same sheet is re-exposed again in the sunlight, usually days or weeks after the initial exposure. At this time foliage is placed (i.e., contact printed) around and within the figure(s).

To make a gold-toned printing-out-paper photogram , this twice exposed paper is toned with gold chloride which makes the image both permanent and impervoius to light. To make the "Type R" print, the twice exposed paper (before it is toned with gold chloride) is photographed with additional leaves, flowers, etc. placed on top of the photogram.

A professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA, Madigan's work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in numerous public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is the exclusive representative of Martha Madigan.