New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Alison Rossiter
Alison Rossiter
Alison Rossiter, “Eastman Royal Bromide, expired March, 1919, Processed in 2010”

So resolute has been photography’s focus on the real that one tends to forget there has always been a lively sub-tradition of abstraction. And within that tradition many have made photographic images using light sensitive materials alone.

From the photogenic drawings of Fox Talbot to Alvin Langdon Coburn’s vortographs to the light drawings of Barbara Morgan to the cliché verres of Max Ernst, not to mention the photograms of Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, this approach to the medium, both with and without camera, has always had talented devotees.

In the 1950’s Aaron Siskind and Minor White, for example, consciously patterning their work on that of the abstract expressionists with their intense subjectivity and tendency towards cosmic statements, combined Alfred Stieglitz’ notion of equivalence with a painterly sense of form.

So separate were they from the mainstream of humanistic photojournalism, they established their own beachhead in the form of Aperture, a publication originally dedicated to an abstract and metaphorical vision.

Alison Rossiter’s work, as far as I can tell, has always partaken of this alternate tradition, and her new show at Milos Yossi of stark black and white prints created exclusively through chemical manipulation is no exception.

Had only the most interesting images of flame-like forms been included in a group show, they would have earned an approving nod, but collectively the work gathered here, of limited formal or suggestive power, is neither complex, nor varied enough, to merit a room of their own.

Ms. Rossiter has fallen prey to the unfortunate hubris that lures many artists into thinking everything they do is equally deserving of full attention. A photographer who has previously done quite good work, she need only demand a bit more of herself to find a cure.

Alison Rossiter

Yossi Milo Gallery
245 Tenth Ave Ground Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 414 0370

Thursday, September 23 to
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Hours: Tue-Sat, 10 to 6