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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Stereo Cropdusting: Eve Sonneman at Nohra Haime


Eve Sonneman, Cropdusting, Clovis, New Mexico, 1978. Diptych photographs on Cibachrome paper, 20 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Nohra Haime Gallery.

Eve Sonneman, Cropdusting, Clovis, New Mexico, 1978. Diptych photographs on Cibachrome paper, 20 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Nohra Haime Gallery.

Eve Sonneman’s early photography remains her best known work, despite subsequent forays into abstract watercolor and painted sculptural objects, and a longterm commitment to Polaroid photography.  Her trademark  idiom from the 1970s, during a  period (post-Lee Bontecou) when she was the only woman on Leo Castelli’s books, took the distinct form of the diptych.  She paired images of a given scene or scenario, usually from the same vantage point,  providing a stereoscopic account of a place that also offered a meditation on the nature of time.  It is as if arbitrarily-determined chronological divisions constitute the sampling required for the construction of narrative implied by fractional distinctions of movement or population..   Cropdusting, shifting in scale while maintaining stance, and disrupting  the horizon through slight shift of angle, makes visual drama from a quotidien event in rural New Mexico, a state known to Sonneman since her graduate studies in Albuquerque in the late 1960s.  This diptych is in the permanent collection of the Australian National Gallery and prints have been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Musée de Toulon, London’s Photographers Gallery and Castelli.   DAVID COHEN

Eve Sonneman: Sight/Sound: Works from the ’70s remains on view at Nohra Haime Gallery, 730 Fifth Avenue, New York City, (212) 888-3550, now extended through March 12, 2011.

Eve Sonneman, Cropdusting, Clovis, New Mexico, 1978.  Diptych photographs on Cibachrome paper, 20 x 30 inches.  Courtesy of Nohra Haime Gallery.


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