Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tim Hyde at G Fine Art

by Geoffrey Aldridge

The recent exhibition of photography at G Fine Art Gallery is a cohesive display of artists using architecture and landscape to create an endless field of distortion and manipulation. The ambiguity in the work falls on the imagery and disconnect of what is seemingly referential.

Tim Hyde’s work of “architectural” forms is allusive and generic in a way that specificity is lost in the image: the building, parking lot or window could belong to any western country’s’ landscape. The most interesting, the image of a parking lot and what seems to be some type of discount super store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc), is surrounded by a blackening sky and absent landscape. The lights in the parking lot become illuminated palm trees that give the bare hint of what type of structure exists beneath.

Referencing the notion of banality, the level of curiosity in Mr. Hyde’s work is similar to digging for a sweater in the back of a dark closet. Why distort the image to a level of allusive location and range? The work’s ambiguity attempts to isolate the generic qualities of architecture to blur the boundaries between what is everyday and everywhere. The isolation and manipulation of the color field surrounding the imagery becomes an atmospheric haze.

Hyde is conscious of contemporary photography and it’s identity crisis to look like painting. Actually the crisis doesn’t lie with photography, but painting. Since this is the case, are we inclined to engage paintings’ vernacular and history when discussing Mr. Hyde’s work?

The influence of painting is apparent in Hyde’s work, referencing artists such as Turner and Ruscha. The flat forms of blocky mass represent architecture and landscape in a way similar to Ed Ruscha’s work. Similar in distortion whether it’s perspective of compositionally, Hyde creates an ambiguous relationship between the forms and its surrounding atmosphere.

What I understand about Mr. Hyde’s work is the transcendent quality of the imagery to question our environment of everyday experiences and our physical relationship to our surroundings. That’s clearer to me because of the separation between the natural atmosphere and the developed architectural forms. It’s within that contrast that allows for an interceding viewer to respond.

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