Letters & Dark History

May 16, 2006 - June 25, 2006
Central Library, 2nd floor Balcony Cases
Letters by Alexandra Catiere

For this project I have chosen to photograph documents marked by time and human touch: ancient papers that tell private human stories. These papers I found at a flea market. My initial fascination was with the sheer beauty of their surface and texture. The authors of these papers have probably long since died, their content wouldn't interest an historian, but as though in compensation, they come to exist for their own sake. I treat these papers as though they are self-reliant, independent witnesses of their time and culture that have come to the studio to pose for a portrait.

BPL Exhibition, Alexandra CatiereAlexandra Catiere
Born in Russia in 1978, Alexandra Catiere began her photographic studies in 2002 in Moscow. In 2003, she moved to New York where she completed a certificate program at the International Center of Photography and then worked as an assistant in the studio of Irving Penn. She has exhibited in shows throughout the city and recently participated in Art+Commerce, a traveling exhibition of emerging photographers that began its journey in D.U.M.B.O.

Alexandra Catiere - Fashion Photography


Dark History by Maureen Cummins

The predominant theme in my recent work has been the history of violence and the experience of marginalized populations in America. Past projects have explored the events of the Triangle factory fire in 1911, the economics of torture, injustices in the legal system and the experiences of women institutionalized for insanity, as reflected in Crazy Quilt, included here. Whether I am making works-on-paper or artist's books, I utilize found text and imagery to impart a direct sense of history and human experience. I am especially interested in testimonies-the literature of the witness-and overprint first-person accounts onto found materials, altering original books, letters and other documents to create new and disturbing meanings. Housing brutal realities within the intimate and inviting form of the book reflects the essential paradox that I perceive between the image of civilized society and the reality of human experience.

-- Maureen Cummins

BPL Exhibition, Maureen CumminsMaureen Cummins
A native New Yorker, Maureen Cummins received a BFA from Cooper Union, where she studied Fine Art with a focus on drawing, printmaking and books. She has been producing limited edition artist's books for over 15 years, and her work is held in over 100 public collections internationally. Institutional collectors include the Brooklyn Museum, The Library of Congress, Walker Art Center, the National Gallery of Art and the Fogg Museum of Art.

Contact Maureen Cummins