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Light Work hosts exhibition of retablos by Anton
Light Work hosts exhibition of retablos by AntonJanuary 30, 2008Jessica Heckmanjhheckma@syr.edu
Light Work has announced an upcoming exhibition, “Ollin Mecatl: The Measure of Movements,” featuring 38 photographic retablos by Don Gregorio Anton. It will run until March 6, with a gallery reception Feb. 7 from 5-8 p.m.
Anton creates mystical retablos on copper that look like sacred objects in themselves. They are intimately small objects and sit on stands to be viewed individually. In the words of Cameron Woodall, Anton “explores the possibilities of the spirit and enhances our awareness of its existence. His work deals with the meaning of self and the spirit within and around that self.”
Retablos have been part of Mexico’s tradition since the 17th century. They were originally hung behind the altars of Catholic churches to give thanks or to honor saints, and remain a tradition to this day. Artist Frida Kahlo described retablos as the truest representation of the people’s art. Regardless of the often crudely drawn depictions by primarily untrained retablo artists, the votive paintings voiced what was in the hearts of the faithful.
To create his retablos, Anton draws on memories of his youth — his childhood neighborhood steeped in culture and identity outside of Los Angeles, his challenges in school and the hope and expression that the discovery of photography offered him. According to John Wood: “Don Gregorio Anton’s photographs radiate compassion like the work of no other living artist I know.”
Anton is a professor of art at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; at Nagase Photo Salon in Tokyo, Japan; at the National Center of Photography in England; and at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, among many others. His work is featured in the permanent collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, among others. He participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in 2006.
Also on view at this time is the Transmedia Photography Annual exhibition, featuring images by students in the transmedia department at SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Gallery hours for these exhibitions are Sunday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call 315-443-1300. The exhibitions and reception are free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Marion lot and Booth Garage.
Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a nonprofit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. Light Work is a member of CMAC, the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers at SU.
For more information about any of these exhibitions, contact Jessica Heckman at Light Work, 315-443-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.