Opening Reception: Friday, September 12, 7PM
Presentation House Gallery is pleased to announce Underglow, an exhibition of
new works by Vancouver artist Kelly Lycan designed in response to the Gallery’s
architecture. The artist reflects on the growing impact of digital imagery on the display
and reproduction of photographs.
Underglow features a full-scale replica of Gallery 291, the iconic New York photography
gallery opened by Alfred Stieglitz in 1905. As home to the Photo-Secessionists, 291
became renowned as the first American exhibition space to profile photography as
art and introduced many European modernists. Lycan’s structure mimics a black and
white photograph taken by Stieglitz of a 1906 exhibition at 291. Viewers are invited
to walk through a simulation of the photograph of this gallery space, complete with
Victorian decorative elements, curtained wainscotting and burlap walls–everything
except pictures on the walls.
Lycan has also created interventions in Presentation House Gallery that frame the
impact of display methods on our reception of art and the roles of institutions in the
production of cultural histories. Through photographic details of modernist gallery
architecture Lycan draws attention to the interplay between systems of representation
and perceptual experience. Underglow offers an opportunity to consider the impact
of architectural design for viewing art, and raises provocative questions about the
medium of photography today.
Kelly Lycan lives and works in Vancouver. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1992, and her Master of Fine Arts from the
University of California, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in 1998. Her work has been
exhibited in exhibitions across Canada, the US and Europe, including solo presentations
at SFU Gallery, Burnaby, 2014; Or Gallery, Vancouver, 2011 and Gallery TPW, Toronto,
2009. She is a member of Instant Coffee, a service-oriented artist collective.