review

Richard Edelman
The Liminal Portrait


WOODSTOCK TIMES - August 9, 2012
SMART ART by Paul Smart


The Liminal Moment

Many in the art world have known that photographer Richard Edelman and pin screen inventor Ward Fleming were up to something at Fleming's yurt studio in Palenville over the past year. But given that Edelman's creative work has focused on un-peopled post-modern landscapes of late, and Fleming had been working with the animation of his pin screens and a new line of slightly-surreal mass action hats that the Asian market was growing ever more excited about, no one was sure what the results could be.

Saturday evening, August 11, Galerie BMG on Tannery Brook Road will premiere Edelman's versions of what's happening, with a live component being put together by Fleming next month in September. Entitled The Liminal Portrait, Edelman's new work is his first foray into a form of formal portraiture, albeit one that is as ghost-ridden and provocatively cerebral as the artist's previous forays into "classic" landscape work. The process at hand, captured straight on via Edelman's inimitably straight-faced and direct vision, combines the movements over, and behind, a custom-made pin screen that captures impressions formed by the model...with an implication of permanence and even pain.

It's like a whisper of movements left lingering, Fleming has noted, or a nod in the direction of the pin screen's first use as an animators tool, long before the inventor created a popular means of production, and uses, for the mechanism first made up of nails and wood (where the idea was to photograph pure light at play). "The beauty of making photographs in this manner is that each session becomes, in effect, a performance," says Edelman of The Liminal Portrait. "These photographs reveal transitional moments - they exist on the threshold of portraiture. The subjects, whose facial expressions are obscured, present themselves with flowing body movements."

Edelman, known to many for his top shelf work with his Woodstock Graphics lab/studio, has taught at some of the region's top art schools and has won numerous awards for his heavily-collected work.

Liminal, referenced in this exhibition's title, refers to both the idea of a sensual threshold, and that which is barely perceptible. For some of us, it also references the ideas of the limbic, which relates to the emotional systems by which we operate within our bodies.

The artist's reception for the Edelman show, which runs through October 8, is set for this Saturday, August 11, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The photographer and Fleming will host a live performance event and photo shoot at Fleming's Pin Screen Studio in Palenville at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 7, where there will also be a display of additional photographs from the series. ++