From an Edynn Houk Gallery press release:
Edwynn Houk Gallery will be exhibiting new photographs by the New York based photographer, Gail Albert Halaban (b 1970, Washington D.C.). Hopper Redux is Halaban’s most recent series, reimagining the famous watercolors by Edward Hopper in and around Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Edward Hopper has served as an important historical precedent for Halaban’s work, and his influence is made explicit in this new series. She photographs the exact locations in Gloucester where Hopper painted in the 1920s, and her photographs of these same homes elicit an uncanny familiarity. While the images echo his watercolors, they are decidedly photographic and of the present day; the houses oscillate between the historical past and the contemporary present. Through dramatic lighting and meticulous placements of props and people within – taking cues from Hitchcock’s mise-en-scène – and her detailed post-production work, Halaban makes the buildings act as characters in their own right, evolving over the passage of time. The formal composition of each image – rigorous, deliberate, and tightly structured – acknowledges the painter’s influence on the photographer. The lone isolation of each home underscores the melancholy of his paintings.
In each series of Halaban’s work, she explores the tensions between private spaces and public displays, made perhaps most striking in heavy urban streets of Out My Window, a collection of images taken through and of the windows and buildings in New York City. It’s an acknowledgement of what we all do, whether spoken or not, of being a voyeur, incessantly peering into others’ windows. Hopper Redux further explores some of the themes from Out My Window: the urbanity, the individual isolation, and the voyeur. As in Out My Window, the subjects seen in the windows or on the front sidewalks are active participants, aware of being photographed, posing. They are looking out whilst also being gazed upon. In Hopper Redux, the homes themselves are active participants too.
November 8, 2012 – December 22, 2012
Edynn Houk Gallery
745 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10151
Phone: 212 750-7070
Hodgkin’s House, 2010
All photographs copyright the artist.