by Tom Fels*

For artist, photographer and software designer Jan Lourie every day is a new day and everything perceived is seen as a fresh opportunity for observation, transformation and expression.

Her new series of images presented on banners and metaprints is no exception. Strolling in New York with her camera, she came across a sculpture that fascinated her. Twelve months and 1800 images later, after repeated visits to the site to capture this already complex work in various lights, and many hours at the computer using her own software to bring out its latent qualities and moods, she offers here one of the several lines of experiment she has taken to express her response to this interesting subject. In the process, the work has gone beyond a mere collection of raw images to become a source through which she has been able to create expressions of her own.

With a background not only in software design but weaving and early music as well, Lourie has brought to her banners and their composite images depth, texture, color and rhythm only latent in their original subject. Having worked in earlier series with images of architecture, she is well prepared to bring out the formal and geometric structure beneath the surfaces she creates. (Both in their range of color and underlying geometry, a comparison to the work of the painter Richard Diebenkorn comes to mind.) As one constantly experimenting with various media and modes of presentation, her choice of a vertical format for her new banners reflects a close bonding of content and format.

Some of the exhibitions of Lourie's collaborative fusion prints have been held at the Cooper Union and the Hall of Science in New York, at Tufts University in Boston and the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester. The fusion prints have been acquired by collectors and museums throughout the country. Eminent designer Massimo Vignelli describes them as “twenty-first century frescoes.” Architect James Stewart Polshek has called them “the stuff of good dreams.” Certainly this new body of work reveals Lourie's vision to be moving in a new and equally interesting direction. As usual, it is a pleasure for us to make that voyage with her.

 

* Tom Fels is a curator and writer, and most recently the author of Farm Friends: From the late sixties to the west seventies and beyond, RSI/Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008.

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