The Boston Globe‘s Cate McQuaid reminds us that only a small fraction of the Polaroid Corporation’s corporate collection was sold in Sotheby’s very strong $12.5m sale. Some images from the rest of the collection are on view at Gallery 4 in Rhode Island:
Many pieces here are experimental. Ellen Carey’s terrific abstract photographs, made by exposing the film to a flash of light or not exposing it at all, and then pulling it through a large-format camera’s internal rollers, hang like scrolls on the wall, all at once invoking Japanese Zen calligraphy, lush painting, and photography. John Reuter offers a dozen surrealist photo constructions from the 1970s. Reuter peeled back the film and manipulated the dyes and emulsions as the image developed. His “Afterglow’’ looks as if he has applied a 19th-century portrait of a melancholy boy to the print; he hovers, frail yet sharp, against a pungently colored background.
Even the more straightforward images display an exuberant experimentation in the artist’s relationship to subject, among them Elsa Dorfman’s generous, spontaneous portraits shot with a 20-by-24-inch camera; Olivia Parker’s odd and careful still lifes; and Jim Stone’s black-and-white documentary shots, such as “Retired Upholsterer Who Covered His House with Beer Cans on his 71st Birthday, Houston, TX, 1983.’’
Polaroid’s Glory Days Exposed (Boston Globe)