Tachisme is an exhibition that ruptures any clear distinction between photography and painting. The negatives from which these photographs derive were smeared and stained with pigment during their long exposures. When these negatives are then printed from at large-scale in the darkroom, the latent inscriptions are revealed to intermingle with the distinctive signature of the artist's fingertips, a trace of touching that is generally forbidden in the production of photographs.
Justine Varga has always seen her photography in these terms, as a drawing with light, or more literally as a light-sensitive substrate on which she makes marks or allows the world to leave its own marks. These photographs are therefore the making visible of an art practice that is at once physical and chemical, autobiographical and contingent, painterly and photographic. In doing so, Tachisme asks viewers to reflect on the activity of decipherment in relation to photographs, making this exhibition a critical rumination on inscription, meaning and knowledge.
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.