February 21 – April 6, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce Bill Armstrong’s fourth exhibition at the gallery. Film Noir is new work from the artist’s “Infinity” series, a vast ongoing project that he has been developing for more than fifteen years. Film Noir revisits the themes of the classic black-and-white films of the 1940s and 50s, but with the lush, saturated colors for which Armstrong is now well known. Solitary figures contemplating the unknown reference the ethical and philosophical dilemmas laid bare in those stories. Armstrong’s dark, mysterious images remain unresolved, however, hinting at the increased uncertainties of the contemporary viewpoint.
Film Noir is made from appropriated images taken from a variety of sources—advertising, stock material, landscape painting—which are then collaged and re-photographed out of focus as Armstrong subverts the photographic process, setting his lens at infinity (normally used for distance) and then shooting close up. His technique of extreme blurring de-materializes the figures, transforming them from the mundane to the ephemeral. His meditative pieces transport the viewer to another world, as he blends and distills hues to create a sophisticated chromatic psychology.
Armstrong has been exhibiting nationally and internationally for many years. His work was featured in a two-person exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2008 and in a mid-career retrospective at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach in 2010. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Vatican Museum, Rome; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Bibliothèque national de France, Paris; among many others. He has exhibited work in numerous other museums including the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Hayward Gallery, London; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan; and FOAM, Amsterdam.
One of Armstrong’s images was chosen for the cover of The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography by Lyle Rexer (Aperture, 2009). His work appears in Face: The New Photographic Portrait by William Ewing and Exploring Color Photography by Robert Hirsch, among other books. He has also been published in numerous periodicals and newspapers including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s and Eyemazing. Armstrong is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts.