Produced with traditional darkroom process, Jeffrey Conley's black-and-white photographs are recognised for their mesmerising depictions of the natural landscape.Read More
Varying in scale, Jeffrey Conley's photographs revolve around nature—from a single leaf to the vast ocean—and are taken across the world, including in the United States, Australia, Iceland, Japan, and New Zealand.
After graduating with a BFA in Photographic Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology, Conley moved to California's Yosemite National Park in 1991. There, he began to photograph nature, which he has described as 'the foundational element' of his practice in a 2020 interview with Flaunt.
Resonance, Conley's solo exhibition at Zurich's Bildhalle in 2022, presented a range of works dating back to the early 2000s, including Figure and Tide, California (2001), which captures a vast expanse of blindingly white waves. Also on view were photographs taken in different countries, among them Waterfall Southern Alps, NZ (2011), which captures a waterfall as a vertical column of misty white against the more sharply defined form of the surrounding trees, and the stark contrast of white, black, and grey in Summit and Early Morning Light, Engadine (2021).
Conley develops his photographs in the darkroom using traditional methods. Among his favoured printing processes is the platinum method, which involves hand-coating each print with an emulsion formula consisting of platinum and palladium metals. This process results in the luminous and velvety tones that are characteristic of his photographs.
Conley's first monograph, Winter (2011), features photographs of snowscapes and trees. In Lone Oak (2005), an oak tree is photographed from a distance, appearing as a dark triangular spot against the vast sky and a stripe of land that are almost indistinguishable from one another. Tree Cathedral (2007) demonstrates the artist's penchant for the interplay of form and colour, in which the dark vertical lines of the trees and their white, snow-covered branches create the illusion of a chandelier descending from the top of the image.
Winter was followed by Reverence in 2018, which centres on his platinum and palladium prints and features the works presented in his solo exhibition at Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica that year.
Conley has exhibited his photographs internationally.
Solo exhibitions include Resonance, Bildhalle, Zurich (2022); Reverence: Platinum and Silver Photographs, Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite National Park (2021); Jeffrey Conley: Reverence, Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, California (2018).
Group exhibitions include Shades of Winter – Photographs of the Seasons, Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite (2022); Ocean, Bildhalle, Zurich (2021); SEVEN, Charles A Hartman Fine Art, Portland (2014).
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022