Photographer Susan Mikula to Present Two Solo Shows in 2011

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American Bond at George Lawson Gallery in Los Angeles, CA & desidero at William Baczek Fine Arts, Northampton, Massachsetts

Photographer Susan Mikula will present solo showings of new work on both coasts during the month of October, 2011. On the West Coast she will be presenting selections from American Bond, her third show at George Lawson Gallery and her first at their new location in Culver City in Los Angeles. On the East Coast, desidero will be her first solo show at William Baczek Fine Arts in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Susan Mikula’s creative roots rest deep in the aesthetic legacies of painting and photography, so it’s no surprise that her art is sometimes taken for painting — but it is photography. Shooting exclusively with Polaroid cameras for over a decade and – of necessity – expired Polaroid film, she works only with available light, manually controlling exposures to exploit the quirks of the cameras and the volatility and decay of salvaged film to create painterly, almost impressionistic imagery. Mikula has developed an expert understanding and instinct for how to turn the inelegant degradation of the film stock into a powerful ally in her creative process. The resulting images are neither cropped nor retouched as they travel from camera to final print.

Mikula lives and works in New York City and Western Massachusetts with her partner, MSNBC political commentator Rachel Maddow.

For more information about Susan Mikula and images of her work, please go to http://www.susanmikula.com

INFORMATION ON EACH SHOW FOLLOWS

selections from American Bond
by Susan Mikula
George Lawson Gallery
8564 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Exhibition Dates: October 19 – November 19, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 22nd, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and by appointment
Gallery phone number and email: 310.837.6900
http://www.georgelawsongallery.com; info(at)georgelawsongallery.com

American Bond is Susan Mikula's three-part series of industrial landscapes – vital but liminal, built-up American vistas. The first part presents images of the oil refineries along the Texas gulf coast and the vast port of Los Angeles for American Device; the second, American Vale, is focused on the industrial facilities of the General Electric Corporation in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and the third part, American Breakbulk, explores the cargo-handling environs of Camden, New Jersey.

Like much of Mikula's work, the highly abstracted imagery in American Bond is about mood and tone and feeling. This series, though, is also about the edges of American physical space -- life on the edge of the country, the edge of our everyday awareness, on the edge of change. Not documentary in any conventional sense (though things do get documented) and not photo-journalistic, Mikula's landscapes are nevertheless clear: un-maudlin, un-romanticized living industry.

In tandem with the show, George Lawson Gallery will be publishing a 145-page catalog titled American Bond, featuring the photos from the series and accompanying text by noted poet Jill McDonough, author of “Habeas Corpus” (Salt Publishing) and is featured in "The Best American Poetry 2011."

George Lawson Gallery, opened in San Francisco in October of 2008 and relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 2011. George Lawson represents an international group of emerging and mid-career artists, with a primary focus on contemporary painting.

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desidero
by Susan Mikula
William Baczek Fine Arts
36 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Exhibition Dates: September 28 – October 29, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1st, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Thursday - Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Sunday 12:00 - 5: 00 PM
Gallery phone number and email: 413.587.9880
http://www.wbfinearts.com; info(at)wbfinearts.com

desidero is Susan Mikula's first foray back into portraiture since her 2006 show 9 Portraits. Stepping away from the classic portraitist's effort to capture the essence of an individual, Mikula instead uses her three male models for a study of emotion, movement, and age.

The resulting images in desidero are in her typically tight chromatic range – some are near monochromatic – but with a vast range of tonal values within their limited hues. The subject is often blurred, sometimes multi-layered – though there is no digital manipulation of the images. The result is emotional, personal, almost prying insight.

This brand new body of work consists of twenty-seven portraits (of which twenty-one will be on display in the show at William Baczek Fine Arts).

Sixteen of the exhibited works will be presented as matte chromogenic prints, mounted to Dibond and flush-framed in a simple, contemporary frame painted a custom white. The other five pieces are translucent Duratrans prints that will be presented – and available for purchase – on LED lightboxes custom-built for the images.

William Baczek Fine Arts is located in Northampton in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. Founded in 1996, it represents artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpting, photography, video and printmaking in both representational and abstract styles.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Hi-resolution images from American Bond and desidero, as well as portraits of Ms. Mikula, are available to accompany editorial and may be obtained by emailing michael(at)communicationangle.com. The title of the show, desidero, is accurately displayed as all lower case and in italic.

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Michael Kusek
Communication Angle
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