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Jean-Luc Mylayne

October 17 – November 8, 2014
515 West 24th Street
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Gladstone Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Jean-Luc Mylayne. Thirteen photographs shot during the artist’s residency at the Lannan Foundation in Bernal, New Mexico and Fort Davis, Texas will be included. The works continue Mylayne’s ongoing project of photographing birds in outdoor environments as a way of highlighting the interconnectedness of the natural world. Images taken during the residency are the first that the French photographer set in American landscapes.

Mylayne captures intricate creatures at peace in simple, unadorned settings. His landscapes appear in balance with the creatures that inhabit them, just as his extraordinary subjects appear in balance with their commonplace settings. The images ultimately allude to harmonies that exist throughout nature, well beyond the avian world.

Especially notable is the harmony Mylayne cultivates between the birds and the camera itself. The photographer achieves this by integrating himself into an environment over a period of weeks or even months, waiting with his equipment, watching birds, and allowing them to watch him. When he feels the birds have become comfortable with him and are ready to be photographed, he shoots a single frame. In the resulting images, subjects appear calm and consenting towards the photographer’s action. When still, they often make eye contact with the camera and look almost posed; when in flight, they appear to be performing for the camera, rather than flying away from it.

Using an interconnected set of handmade lenses, Mylayne creates images that are simultaneously in focus and blurred, mimicking the perceptual abilities of the naked eye. Mylayne’s own patience in building tools and capturing images adds another layer through which to consider the relationship between humans and animals, celerity and stasis, and other divergent facets of the natural world.

Jean-Luc Mylayne was born in France in 1946. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions throughout the U.S. and abroad, including a recent exhibition at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe; Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon; Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston; Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, among many others. Mylayne’s work was featured in ILLUMInazioni curated by Bice Curiger, at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. In May 2015, Jean-Luc Mylayne: Mutual Regard—a major presentation of the artist’s work—will be held at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Arts Club of Chicago.