March 19 – April 25, 2009
In the Project Room
ClampArt is please to present, “Expectations of Adolescence,” a ten-year photographic project by artist, Blake Fitch—her first solo exhibition at the gallery.
In 1997, Blake Fitch began documenting the lives of her half-sister, Kate, and their cousin, Julia, as they grew from adolescent girls into young women. All of the photographs center on two distinct locales—the home of Fitch’s well-heeled grandparents and the other her family’s summer residence on Round Island in the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York on the St. Lawrence River. The artist writes that the project records “the lives of two girls during their sometime-awkward evolution from adolescence to woman-hood, and captures the simple moments in their search for their own identities.”
Critic, Andy Grunberg, observes, “It is rare in contemporary photography to encounter a series of pictures this beautiful, compelling, innocent, and intriguing.” He explains, as young relations to Fitch, Kate and Julia make themselves fully available to the camera, so that there is nothing artificial or cosmetic in the manner in which they present themselves for our interrogation. We are allowed to watch as Fitch’s protagonists discover themselves and eventually establish their own personalities. As curator, Alison N√∂rdstrom, comments, there is a bittersweet pathos in these images, but what the series ultimately asserts is the undeniable strength and power of these young girls. N√∂rdstrom writes, “They are not blank slates or passive innocents. They are brave, present, active, and aware—they look us in the eye unflinchingly.”