Larry Gawel, “Competition #1,” 2014, unique dryplate tintype

The Garden of the Zodiac Gallery once again brings past and present together with the opening of Larry Gawel’s exhibition Land : Mine on February 11.

Gawel, a Professor of Photography and the Photography Program Coordinator at Metropolitan Community College, has a decided preference for old school forms of photography, making dryplate tintypes, lumens tintypes (a form of cameraless solar printmaking) and gelatin silver prints from film negatives rather than digital cameras.

This puts Gawel in company with 2018 shows at the Zodiac featuring the cyanotypes and tintypes of Isa Marcelli and the pinhole photography of Hanns Zischler, as well as 2019’s platinum/palladium prints of Jens Knigge. All use their vintage techniques in service of personal expression.

In this exhibition, Gawel’s ongoing examination of his personal relationship with the land around him is on clear view. An avid gardener, hunter and fisherman, he describes his still life images of fallen leaves and dead animals as the result of his activities “harvesting the land for consumption.” With their emphasis on individual specimens of flora and fauna, the photographs have a distinct, almost scientific objectivity. Gawel’s choice of a heritage process, resulting in warm-chocolate toned images, also seems consonant with the timeless aspect of his field-to-table relationship to their subjects.

Larry Gawel, Land : Mine opens on Thursday, February 11, 2021 and runs through Sunday, March 28 in the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery, 1042 Howard Street. There will be no opening reception. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 8:00pm and on Sundays from noon to 6:00pm. For further information, please contact 402.341.1877, email, or visit the Garden of the Zodiac page on Facebook.

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