Feb 2, 2012 - Mar 17, 2012
Tono Stano: White Shadow
Exhibition at the Pace/MacGill Gallery. The exhibition marks Stano’s first solo show in the United States and features 20 unique gelatin silver prints from his ongoing series of surreal portraits, White Shadow.
Tono Stano: White Shadow
(b. 1960, Slovakia)
studied photography under the influential Slovak photographer and teacher
Milota Havránková at a secondary school for graphic arts in Bratislava. Following a year spent photographing
on film sets, he enrolled at FAMU, Prague’s School of Film,
Photography and Television, in 1980.
At FAMU, Stano was among a group of
students—including Vasil Stanko,
Miro Švolík, and Rudo Prekop—who
reinvigorated the medium with their dynamic and imaginatively staged images, ultimately becoming known as the “Slovak School”
within the illustrious history of Czechoslovak photography. A freelance
photographer since the age of 17,
Stano has consistently worked independently of the oppressive system in which
he was raised.
In 1991, at the invitation of art critic and curator Anna
Fárová, Stano visited the Prague studio of the late
Czech photographer Josef Sudek, who
had asked that his cameras be given to a deserving person after his death.
Stano selected an old-fashioned 24 x 30 cm large-format camera from the studio
shelves for personal use.
According to Stano, Sudek’s inherited photographic equipment was the impetus for his White Shadow series, which he began that same year:
I started to dream about taking a trip… to a place where everything was in negative, so I could create a positive world on photographic paper, inside my new large-format camera.
became a reality on the day I made up my mind to create that negative world in
the confines of my studio. The lens captures that negative world on
photographic paper. This process opened up a space new and unfamiliar to me, where nothing could be predicted, a bizarre space in between negative and positive, a white-shadowed world with an atmosphere we often
find hard to accept.
Shadow, Stano seeks to turn
reality negative, transporting the
viewer to an inverted monochromatic realm. Produced in-camera, his photographs are analogue paper negatives that
appear as positive representations through Stano’s meticulous and unique
process of painting the white portions of his subjects’ bodies and faces black, and vice versa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sdC7hXBKDU
When photographed in this fashion, that which is negative appears positive. The resulting images, which are graphically striking and seductively haunting, present a fusion of both the negative and positive. In this way, Stano is interested not only in the physical aspects of this negative/positive transformation, but also in promoting this conversion as a life philosophy.
Since 1984, Stano’s work has been the subject of solo and
group exhibitions worldwide. His photographs can be found in the permanent
collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the Museum Ludwig,
Cologne; the National
Media Museum, Bradford, England;
and the Slovenská narodná galéria, Bratislava,
Slovakia, among others.
Stano lives and works in Prague.
Exhibition is organized by the Pace/MacGill Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, NYC
Pace/MacGill Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, NYC
From: Feb 2, 2012
To: Mar 17, 2012