The Berkshires Blog

“The Proserpine Path” and Sohn Fine Art’s 2013 Season from The Berkshire Voice of Arts Indie (BVAI)

After digging out from the significant coastal blast of precipitation, called Nemo, I drove from my homestead south to a wonderfully quaint and intimate photography gallery that has quickly established itself as the go-to center for photographic arts, education, and archival printing in the Berkshires…and beyond.

Sohn Fine Art, established in 2011 by photographer/proprietor Cassandra Sohn, is located in the heart of Stockbridge at 6 Elm Street, just off of Main Street.  On February 9th, the gallery featured a splendidly informative talk and presentation by Eric Korenman, an emerging artist and shining example of so much that can be right with photography.

Korenman’s first solo show at the gallery, “The Proserpine Path”, is a modern and decidedly original re-interpretation of the myth of Proserpine (Persephone), daughter of Zeus and Demeter (goddess of the harvest and wife of Hades).  From Korenman’s continually developing and intriguing perspective, the exhibit is an astute commentary on the dark side of contemporary excesses and vulgarities.  Masked figures are bewitchingly clothed and posed in scenes of decaying opulence and flowers burst into places where they shouldn’t be, “drowning”, or otherwise metaphorically subduing, their marks.

During his engaging and thought stimulating presentation, Korenman fluidly guided the gathered assemblage on a path from his earlier Gregory Crewdson influenced street scenes, into palatial manors which have just the right amount of creeping decay, first adding masks, created by artist Huckleberry Delsignore, then flowers, truckloads of them, all artificial.  The flowers, when first encountered in the series, burst defiantly, then evolve over time into pomegranate-like arrangements of terrific splendor, while curiosity drives a need to first pursue, then reveal what’s behind these masks that the marked place between themselves and the observer.

Beyond this stunning and provocative show that acts as a bridge between the 2012 and 2013 season, the gallery will progress through a fabulous program of stunning exhibitions, community outreach programs, and enriching educational opportunities, including the 2nd Annual Community Arts Exhibition, a juried show that benefits Chesterwood, as well as two summer exhibits by renowned photographers Matuschka and Greg Gorman.

Matuschka is best known for “Beauty Out of Damage”, a controversial photograph of a breast cancer survivor that appeared on the cover of the Sunday Magazine of the New York Times on August 13, 1993.  Greg Gorman, a master photographer, was recently awarded the 2013 Professional Photographers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and currently has a forty-year retrospective show circulating through prominent museums in Europe.

The gallery’s exhibition season will finish with a group exhibit of Sohn Fine Art artists showing work based on the theme, nude.