Opening Friday, July 5, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild presents a solo exhibition of photographs, Pete Mauney: Nocturnal Transmissions. On Saturday, July 6, Pete Mauney will discuss his art in a free public talk starting at 3:00 pm. A reception follows from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
The exhibition at the Kleinert/James, curated by Tina Bromberg and Doug Milford, is comprised of three bodies of Mauney’s work—different in execution and motivation, yet all interrelated. One group explores the erratic and surreal systems of fireflies, whose bioluminescence is translated into pulsing green color fields through Mauney’s camera. Based in the Hudson Valley, Mauney says he finds concentrations of individual and mixed regional firefly populations and attempts to capture their mass and what he calls their “temporary ubiquity” through long camera exposures of their self-generated light. “Patterns of flash, seemingly random patterns of travel, unpredictability, and overwhelming beauty is the experience,” says Mauney, “I’ve been lucky enough to capture some reflections of that experience with my cameras.”
A second body of work in the exhibition explores the less chaotic systems of airplanes, airports, and air traffic patterns, with long-exposure photographs of light above and around airports. Utilizing a technique adapted from his firefly work, Mauney captures these flight patterns in works that evoke geysers of light or glowing circuit boards across the sky. Mauney describes the results as “simultaneously rigidly ordered (in engineering, execution and protocol) and deliciously abstract (in the visual).” This combination of order and abstraction is key to the intense appeal in Mauney’s photographic examinations of light.
A third piece in the show, About a Mile, Either Way, Give or Take, is a portrait of a roughly two-mile stretch of the Hudson River extending north and south from Tivoli, which Mauney walked almost daily for several years. While documenting a period of change in his own life, it is really an open love letter to the river. There, Mauney found allegories for the processes and systems of the cycle of life. Calling the photographs in the series “at turns beautiful, neutral, and repulsive,” Mauney explains that About a Mile examines the sublime and harsh realities of life and living in a limited, defined ecosystem—and of life and living in more general terms.
Pete Mauney studied film at NYU before going on to receive his BA and MFA in photography from Bard College. Always a night person, Mauney has been photographing in the dark since his first serious roll of film. Photography was introduced to him at an early age and has become essential to his pursuit of randomness generated by highly programmed and engineered entities. He lives with his photographer wife and two young children in Tivoli, New York, which he has called home for thirty years.
Pete Mauney: Nocturnal Transmissions is on view through September 8, 2019. Exhibition proudly sponsored by ANATOLI Jewelry LLC, Woodstock NY.
Gallery Hours: Mon/Thurs/Fri: 12:00 – 6:00 pm; Sat/Sun: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm; by appointment Tues/Wed.