Monday, 21 September 2015
Light after dark
Photographer Lynn Saville discovers the virtues of artificial light in this collection urban work. It could be street, office or security lights, garish neon and shop decorators naked bulbs but they all create an intriguing palette of colors and shadows. After dark many of the buildings sites in the photos have enhanced texture created by light from different directions. On page ninety-one there's a fabulous shot of abandoned restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, beautifully framed against a black sky, even when not lit a large vertical neon sign saying JACK'S provides the color while the white brickwork changes into various shades of grey as it ages. A similar photo of a boarded up warehouse in Chicago provides an interesting display of ochre brickwork and red panels over the windows. Detroit, the urban ruins capitol of America, provides a brilliant straight on photo of the huge abandoned Michigan Central Depot lit by unseen spotlights from below.
Empty stores and those being renovated seem to fascinate Lynn Saville, minus the merchandise means large expanses of glass and bare walls creating slabs of changing color depending how near they are to neon strips and spotlights used by interior decorators. Of the eighty photos in the book only one has a visible person suggesting that all this street night light is not used for most of the time. The photos were taken in various cities but without their daylight visible landmarks these places at night become an anonymous collection of shapes, shadows, color and silence.
Lynn Saville has captured a worthwhile collection light and dark in her book.