January 21 2015
Charles March | Wood Land
Venus Over Manhattan celebrates Charles March
Celebration: Wednesday January 21, 6 – 8 pm
January 21 – February 7, 2015
Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present WOOD LAND, a series of new photographs by Charles March. The exhibition follows Nature Translated, March’s critically-acclaimed solo show, which was curated by Edward Lucie-Smith and exhibited at Bermondsey Project Space in London, the State Russian Museum (Marble Palace) in St. Petersburg, and the Moscow Photography Biennale 2014.
March started taking photographs at the age of twelve. After leaving school at 16, working as an apprentice to Stanley Kubrick on Barry Lyndon, and living briefly as a documentary photographer in Africa, March launched a hugely successful career in still life advertising photography, working on many of the great campaigns of the 1980s including Benson & Hedges, Levi’s, and ICI. One of his pictures was selected for the Pompidou Centre’s permanent exhibition ‘One Hundred Images of Advertising Photography from 1930-1990’. In 1991, after 15 years in the industry and the top prize from the AFAEP Awards, family responsibility called March back to the Goodwood estate in Sussex, owned by his family since the late 17th century.
While March retired from the world of advertising, he maintained his personal passion for taking pictures. Throughout the 1990s March experimented with different photography techniques and digital camera technology, and in 2002 he conceived the idea of ‘using the camera as a brush.’ March creates his energized photographs through a fluid movement of the camera during exposure. This transient process results in a bold impression or stirring feeling, much like a personal sketch or drawing. In 2012, he publically exhibited the Nature Translated series, which for March represented the antithesis of the precision of high production still life advertising of the 1990s.
The swirling, abstracted photographs in WOOD LAND, on view from January 22nd through February 7th, mark a continuation of the themes and styles established with Nature Translated. Edward Lucie-Smith says, “In terms of style, this group of photographs has moved on, and loosened the bonds with the idea of direct representation. Nevertheless, at some half-hidden level, the power of nature still resonates within them. They evoke the times when you step into a landscape, and it makes you hold your breath. This reverence for nature is one of the things that British and American cultures have in common”. As March explains, “I have always tried to do something to get myself between the camera and the subject – adding an emotional mystery, a personal interpretation of a feeling for a landscape or a place. These pictures offer an image of a sensibility at grips with the real, where nothing is as yet completely concluded and everything is still in motion.”