Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christa Parravani @ Sara Tecchia Gallery 11/6/08

Christa Parravani

NANCY KNAPP (Well, don't you see this was the way of it), 2007
40 x 50 inches
Edition 2/3

ARTmostfierce loves the work of Christa Parravani. This photo in particular is one of my favorities.
This photo was part of the Watermill Benefit 2007.

Please read press release from our dear Redhead Gallerista, Sara Tecchia.
See you there!

Current Exhibition
November 6 – December 11, 2008



SPOON RIVER: New Photographs by Christa Parravani

DATES: November 6 - December 11, 2008
RECEPTION: Thursday, Nov 6, 6-8pm

Well, don't you see this was the way of it/ We bought the farm with what he inherited/And his brothers and sisters accused him of poisoning/His fathers mind against the rest of them/And we never had any peace with our treasure/The murrain took the cattle, and the crops failed/And lightning struck the granary/So we mortgaged the farm to keep going/And he grew silent and was worried all the time...Then the dreadfulest smells infested the rooms/So I set fire to the beds and the old witch-house/Went up in a roar of flame/As I danced in the yard with waving arms,/While he wept like a freezing steer.
- Edgar Lee Masters, Nancy Knapp, "Spoon River Anthology" (1915)

Sara Tecchia Roma New York is pleased to announce a solo-exhibition of new photographs by Christa Parravani. The body of work, Spoon River, is inspired by Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," a collection of 244 poems told by the deceased residents of this fictional town describing the situations that led to their demise.

Parravani's work is heavily influenced by Diane Arbus, who sought to uplift an often downtrodden and socially outcast troupe of characters through photography. Parravani's work seeks a similar retribution as she is giving closure to each Spoon River denizen while investigating the psychology of death and trauma. Like Arbus, Parravani considers herself a straightforward pictorialist. She uses a 4x5 view camera and strongly avoids altering the works in any way. The photographs are taken near The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. Founded in 1907, it is the oldest artist colony in America and the two years that Parravani spent there ingrained in her a sense of natural proportions. Each image has an uncomfortable and uncanny quality, the visual language of which suggests an event beyond the borders of the photograph.

Each scene is carefully planned but photographed en plein air with the spontaneity and the attention to landscape and portraiture attributed to symbolist painters such as Jules Bastien-Lepage. In fact, the identity of each figure is accentuated by the presence of nature, either grand sweeping backdrops or claustrophobic close-ups of a forest interior. The landscape, behind each character, plays as important a role in the development of the photograph as does the back-story associated with each poem. To Parravani, the individual is a product of his or her environment, and thereby belongs, embossed for eternity, within it.

Parravani's photographs were featured in the PBS documentary, "The Four Seasons of MacDowell" screened at both MoMA, NY and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. The work is in the permanent collections of the Woodstock Center for Photography and the Neiman Center for Print Studies, Bard College and has been showcased at Scope Miami, Scope New York, Photo New York, Photo San Francisco and Aqua Wynwood Miami.

SARA TECCHIA ROMA NEW YORK is located at 529 West 20th Street, between Tenth Avenue and Eleventh Avenue. The gallery is on the second floor. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm or by appointment. For more information, contact 212-741-2900, or visit

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