Friday, April 29, 2011

Preparations for Henry Horenstein: Show


Today we’re in the final swings of getting up the Henry Horenstein exhibit at the gallery.  For the last show, Keliy (the artist) and her husband Matt hung the pictures up themselves but generally Catherine does her own.  So this time she taught me all about installing… which, unfortunately, involves math and stuffs :(

2011-04-29 13.09.26

Look at me being all handy with tools.  There’s even a giiiiiant ladder in the background. 


Unfortunately, the illusion is mildly mostly completely shattered when you see the image I was putting up:



(Henry Horenstein: Shoes, California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA), Los Angeles, CA, 2007)


And (because I couldn’t resist) a couple of completely mature and respectful shots:

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I may or may not have caught whopping cough from ol’ George Washington there. 

(Tip in Fishnets, Jacques Cabaret, Boston, MA, 2005)


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This is going into my audition portfolio for Top Chef!

(Swords, Los Angeles, CA, 2005)


If you’re around for the opening tomorrow between 6 and 8 p.m. at the John Cleary Gallery you should stop by.  In addition to a book signing with the artist the Ruby Review Burlesque ensemble from Dallas will be performing live throughout the evening, plus Henry is showing a preview of his original documentary at 8:15 p.m.!!

Artist: KC & the Sunshine Band/ Album: Greatest Hits

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hop to It


Happy Easter from the John Cleary Gallery!


Henry Horenstein: Scotty the Blue Bunny, New York, 2008

To see more of Henry’s work, make sure to catch the opening of Show on Saturday, April 23 from 6 – 8 pm at the gallery.  Henry will be at the opening for a book signing and the screening of an original documentary, as well as live performances by the Ruby Revue Burlesque ensemble.

For more information, check out our previous blog post here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Henry Horenstein: Show



Fishnets, New York Burlesque Festival, Southpaw Brooklyn, New York, 2005


Got your attention, didn’t we?

Please join us Saturday, April 30, from 6-8 p.m. forr the opening of Henry Horenstein: Show, a candid look into the neo-burlesque world  from 2001-2009.  The exhibition will run through Saturday, May 28th.  The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception and book signing.  A screening of an original Horentsein documentary will be shown at 8:15 p.m. and live entertainment for the evening will be provided by Dallas’ Ruby Revue Burlesque.


Jackie Beat, California Institute of Abnormalarts (CIA) Los Angeles, CA 2007


Boston-based photography Henry Horenstein has spent the last three decades making an indelible mark on the photographic world.  His subjects range from the country music industry of the 1970’s and ‘80’s to the animal kingdom to the thrill of the Saratoga horse races.

This digital file was made at 
AutumnColor Digital Imaging
Dedicated to the special needs of fine artists
(800) 533-5050

             Danyella de Meux, Los Angeles, CA, 2005

Show is a return to Horenstein’s roots as a documentary photography.  With a mixture of shooting love performances and in-studio work, Show captures the heat, humor, history and sensuality of an art form that is oft forgotten yet still thriving.


Flambeaux, New York, 2006


Horenstein has been a working photography and teacher since the 1970’s and has authored more than thirty books—Honky Tonk, Animalia, Humans, Racing Days and Show among his most prominent.  His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.  Horenstein currently lives in Boston and is a professor of photography at the Rhode Island School of Design.

This digital file was made at 
AutumnColor Digital Imaging
Dedicated to the special needs of fine artists
(800) 533-5050

Amber Ray (eye), Los Angeles, CA, 2005


We hope you can make it to this extraordinary, multifaceted event on April 30th.  If not, Henry’s photography will be on exhibit through May 28th—stop by any time!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Elliott Erwitt Price Increase



New York City (Dog Legs), 1974; gelatin silver print


Effective May 1, 2011 the price for Elliot Erwitt prints will increase, on average, $1,000.  For those of you who have been contemplating purchasing one of his works—now’s the best time to do so!


Paris, France (Three People and Umbrellas), 1989; gelatin silver print


Erwitt’s iconic photographs have been featured in museums, personal collections and publications throughout the world, rightfully placing him along side other stalwarts of the photographic world.


New York City (Mother and Baby), 1953; gelatin silver print


To find out the current selling price of Erwitt’s—or any other of our fine art photography—check out our website here, give us a call or visit us in the gallery. 


California (Kiss), 1955; gelatin silver print

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Civil War Photography


The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War is being observed today and we thought it would be as good a time as any to look back at some of the oft-forgotten photographs from the late nineteenth century. (All examples taken from, a fantastic compendium of over 1,200 high-quality pictures from the era)


George A. Custer and General Alfred Pleasonton on Horseback- Falmouth, VA, April 1863



Mathew B. Brady’s Photographic Outfit in the Field- Near Petersburg, VA, 1864



Dinner Party Outside Tent at the Army of the Potomac Headquarters- Brandy Station, VA, April 1895



Ward in the Carver General Hospital- Washington, D.C.



President Lincoln’s Funeral Procession on Pennsylvania Avenue- Washington, D.C., April 19, 1865



Saturday, April 9, 2011

It’s More than Just Black and White


For a continuation of our ongoing series regarding the different types of photography I thought today we’d take a look at three more well-known processes.

Gelatin Silver Print: As the dominant photographic mode from its inception in the 1880’s through the middle part of the 19th century, the silver gelatin print remains a mainstay in the black and white photography world.  The image is printed on paper coated with an emulsion of gelatin and silver salts.  Variations of types of paper and silver salt can effect the end product.

  • Silver chloride- used for contact printing, produces a generally neutral black
  • Silver bromide- used for enlargements, produces a bluish black or cool tone
  • Chloro-bromide- may be used for either, produces a warm, brownish black tone


Stanko Abadzic: A Day When Everything Goes Wrong, 2000/2008 (gelatin silver print)


Platinum and palladium print: Unlike the gelatin silver print, this process uses no emulsion and lies on the paper surface itself.  This results in a matte surface with a deposit of platinum/palladium absorbed slightly onto the paper and produces delicate rich tones and a range of grays that are unachievable in silver prints.  Palladium was introduced as a replacement for platinum paper during the advent of World War I when the price of platinum became too expensive.


Tom Hawkins: Salt Harvest #5: Bonaire, 1999 (platinum print)


Sepia and Selenium toned gelatin silver print: Toning is a common process used to change the color of black and white photographs using a chemical process carried out on silver-based prints by replacing the metallic silver in the emulsion with a silver compound. Toning can increase the range of visible shades in a print without reducing the contrast and can improve the chemical stability of the print, increasing its potential longevity. Sepia prints use silver sulfide resulting in a warmer tone, whereas selenium prints use silver selenide to produce a red-brown or purple-brown tone, depending on the strength of the solution.  


Josef Hoflehner: Water Walk, 2007 (selenium toned gelatin silver print)



Friday, April 8, 2011

A Little Spring Gardening


One of the perks of working at the John Cleary Gallery is that I have free reign to explore drawer after drawer of the gallery’s collection.  I came across Maggie Taylor’s “The Patient Gardener” recently and was reminded of a song from Claude Debussy’s Proses Lyriques entitled “De fleurs” (The Flowers).


Maggie Taylor: The Patient Gardener


Debussy’s lyrics, which he wrote himself, are as follows.  (Translation by Faith J. Cormier via The Lied, Art Song, and choral Texts Page)

In the desolate green boredom of pain's hothouse, flowers surround my heart with their nasty stems. When will the dear hands return to delicately untangle them from round my head? The tall purple Iris cruelly violated your eyes by seeming to reflect them. They were the pools of reverie into which my dreams softly dove, absorbed by their colour. And the lilies, white jets of water with perfumed pistils, have lost their white grace and are but poor invalids who do not know the sun. Sun! Friend of evil flowers, dream-killer, illusion-killer, holy bread of miserable souls! Come! Come! Saving hands! Smash the windows of lies, smash the windows of evil spells, my soul is dying from too much sun! Mirages! Joy will never flower again in my eyes and my hands are tired of praying, my eyes tired of crying! In an eternal crazed noise, the black petals of boredom drip constantly on my head in pain's green hothouse!

But really… why reference a Debussy song and post the poetry without also putting up a stunning performance?  My dear friend Janai (who is currently a young artist under Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera) sang the set on her master’s recital at the University of Michigan a couple of years ago and her performance of this song in particular has managed to stay seared into my sub-conscience.  Pianist and friend Jeremy Reger (coach at the Minnesota Opera) also brings the requisite foggy lushness to Debussy’s accompaniment.

So stop in some time to check out Maggie’s or any other of our fine photographer’s work!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Our Friend, Linda

This past week friend-of-the-gallery Linda Salinas was severely injured in an automobile accident and in an overwhelming show of support for her recovery, the Houston-area hospitality and arts industry has rallied together in her honor.

This Sunday, April 10th between 4-10pm in the parking lot of Paulie’s Restaurant (1834 Westheimer at Driscoll) there will be a block party in order to raise money for the care and recuperation of Linda.  Houston food trucks will be on site, live musical performances by Benjamin Wesley and Frank Freeman will pump up the crowd, and a bake sale provided by the divine and delicious Jodycakes and Co. will get you in the spirit for the silent auction, comprised of an astonishing number of donations from local restaurants, businesses and arts organizations. 

Highlights include: a years worth of cocktail classes at Anvil Bar and Refuge, a working dinner for you and a guest with Houston Chronicle/2995 Magazine restaurant critic Alison Cook, and two tickets to the Houston Symphony’s April 29th concert featuring Alexander Nevsky.  Plus, look for ten fine art photography books, all signed by the artists, from our very own John Cleary Gallery!  (For a complete list of items, as well as the chance to bid online, follow the auction link at Houston Food Adventures here).

If you are unable to attend the block party but still wish to help out, donations can be made through ChipIn here and for any more information regarding the event please check out Linda’s Block Party Facebook page.

So come out on Sunday, enjoy some great food, great music, and make a difference in the process!

“It is unbelievable how quickly the food community came together to not only support Linda but make preparations for her future. It is our express wish that we are able to continue to give longevity to Linda’s funding by contributing not only monetarily but through our time, product and industries.” ~Kata Robata chef, Seth Siegel-Gardner

Friday, April 1, 2011

Introduction and a Word About Process


With the excitement of AIPAD and Keliy Anderson-Staley’s opening a bit behind us here at the John Cleary Gallery I thought I would take the opportunity to formally introduce myself as your new resident blogger!


So… hello all, my name is Joseph and even though I’m only filling in briefly for a couple of months as the Assistant Director I couldn’t be more thrilled to be surrounded day in and day out by such fantastic photography. 

A little bit about myself: Like Catherine, I also grew up in small town Crockett, Texas deep in the Piney Woods (or behind the Pine Curtain as a dear friend of mine puts it).  Interestingly enough, Catherine lived only a couple of houses down from me on Easy Street and both of her parents were my teachers in high school, so when she provided me the opportunity to work with her I jumped on it! (Is there a word for the neighborly equivalent to nepotism??) 

I attended Baylor University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for degrees in vocal performance and opera and moved to Houston this last August in order to pursue that career back in my home state.  I have a great affinity for photography, but as my background focuses more on the aural arts than the visual I figured this would be as great a time as any to brush up on my photographic lexicology.

So with that in mind I decided to start an ongoing series on the blog that delves into the different processes involved with fine art photography and how it relates to our collection here at the gallery.  For our inaugural post I figured it would be appropriate to cover those used by Keliy Anderson-Staley in her exhibit Imagined Family Heirlooms.  (All information provided by the artist.)


The photograms interspersed with original and found tintypes in the Imagined Family Heirlooms arrangements were made using a variety of printing techniques.  Photograms were used by William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins in the early 1840’s and then were popularized by man ray in the early twentieth century.  Photograms are created by exposing sensitized paper to light while an object is on top of the paper.

In the case of the photograms in this exhibition, some were made by placing lace doilies and other found crocheted pieces over prepared photo paper; others were made by placing large glass negatives on top of the paper.  The photograms in this installation are made using the historic cyanotype and van dyke brown printing processes.

The cyanotype, also known as the blueprint process,  was first introduced by Sir John Herschel (1972-1871) in 1842.  Herschel was an astronomer, trying to find a way to copy his notes, who stumbled upon a simple chemical reaction that allowed paper to retain images exposed by light. In addition to his invention of these processes, Herschel lef his mark on the art by coining the terms photography, negative, positive, and snapshot.Cropped_napkin

“Cropped Napkin” 2010. Cyanotype photogram print on paper, made from found cloth. Print size: 6x8 inches.


The argentotype, an iron-based silver printing process, produces brown tinted images and is another alternative method invented by Herschel.  This particular method is also father of sorts to the similar processes of van dyke brown, argyrotype and kallitype.


“5 Petal Flower” 2010. Argyrotype photogram print on cloth, made from found cloth.  Print size: trimmed 8x10 inches


The van dyke process gets its name from its similarity in color to the deep brown pigment used by the Flemish painter Sir Anthony van Dyck.


Self portrait of Sir Anthony van Dyck



“Frustrated Doily” 2010. Van dyke brown photogram print on paper, made from found cloth.  Trimmed 8x10 inches


Like cyanotypes, van dyke brown prints are simple and economical to make, with the sensitizer consisting of three readily available chemicals.  Both processes utilize the action of light on ferric salts.

The tintypes in the exhibition are made with the wet plate collodion process that was invented about 10 years after the cyanotype.  The collodion process also makes use of the light reactive properties of silver and iron.  One principle difference between the tintypes and the photograms is that a camera (or little room—in this case a wooden box) and a lens were used to focus the light reflecting off a person directly onto a surface. 


“Erica” 2010. Wet plate collodion tintype. 8x10 inches


The surfaces for the tintypes in this exhibition are blackened aluminum sheets that were coated with a collodion mixture (gun cotton dissolved in ether) that creates a papery emulsion skin across the surface of the metal.  The plate is then treated with a light-sensitive mixture of silver nitrate salts, exposed to light, and then quickly, while still wet, developed in a bath of ferrous sulfate.  The image is then fixed in a bath of potassium cyanide.

A word, too, about the images used in The Baking Pan Series.  The production of these works were accomplished by treating old and rusted baking pans with photographic chemicals and exposing images and text directly onto the metallic surfaces.  Betty Crocker this ain’t!


from The Baking Pan Series, 2010.  Liquid emulsion on found metal.


And with that I think I’ll bring this lesson on process to a close for the time being. Now that we’ve been formally introduced please feel free to stop in any time to the gallery with questions regarding Keliy or any other photographer’s work or just to say “hello.” 

For a bit of shameless blog promotion, take some time to check out my own personal blog, ub-SESSED: infatuations in the age of attention deficiency, for more musings on art, pop culture, and all the random ephemera of my life that rests in between!