Art In America

Eileen Quinlan

at Miguel Abreu,
36 Orchard St.

Eileen Quinlan's black-and-white photographs call attention to the material substrate of the medium; she finds rich creative possibilities in the delicate process by which an image emerges from silver salts suspended in gelatin. Candid portraits—one work is titled Sister—are legible through a haze of scratches, shadows, peeled emulsion and overexposed passages. Interspersed with the figurative images are abstract compositions of more mysterious origins, likely in various chemical baths. In an era of ubiquitous digital images, Quinlan revives the historical avant-garde's fascination with photographic alchemy.



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