Roger Newton


March 20 - April 17, 1999

Andrew Roth is pleased to announce the opening of a two-person exhibition: the photographic work of Roger Newton and Vera Lutter. Each artist will present their photographs in the gallery for one month, beginning with:

Roger Newton on March 20. The relationship between their bodies of work will be discussed in an essay by Jonathan Crary entitled, printed in the accompanying exhibition catalogue. Roger Newton will be exhibiting 17 color photographs, his first exploration into color imagery. Newton, 38 years old, received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998 and this year was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Performance Art. These two grants have helped support the production of the body of work exhibited here for the first time.

Newton has had solo exhibitions in New York at David Zwirner in 1995 and 1996 and more recently at Janet Borden in 1998. He fabricates his photographs with a lens he built himself; the elements are made from the joining together of various layers of clear substances: water, glycerin, and oil. As this lens is not corrected for color or precision, the images it produces exist out of the normal range of our visual faculties. The uncorrected lens breaks down white light into its various color components; the final product is filled with radical, at times jolting color combinations. As Crary states: “The lens … becomes the generative site of optical experience and a surrogate for the transformative capacities of a subjective observer, allowing a piercing defamiliarization of the world.”

Both Roger Newton and Vera Lutter are exploring the fundamentals of the photographic medium, reevaluating, in a sense reconstructing, its history. Lutter’s large-scale, black-and white-photographs are made with a camera obscura. While inside the camera, she makes her exposures directly onto the photographic paper. They remain negative images and are therefore unique. Lutter exhibited at Wooster Gardens in 1996 and 1998. Known primarily for her urban and industrial views, she will be exhibiting new work: landscapes made in Orient Point, Long Island.

Jonathan Crary is a writer on art and cultural theory and is associate professor in the Department of Art History at Columbia University. He is one of the founding editors of Zone publications and has published Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, MIT Press, 1991.

A press release on the work of Vera Lutter will follow shortly, prior to her opening on April 24.