Illuminations

Special Special is pleased to announce Illuminations, a solo exhibition by Jenny Hata Blumenfield featuring a collection of ceramics and cyanotypes. Blumenfield calls upon recurring themes in her practice with references to traditional vessel forms and deconstruction of objects into planar surfaces to develop a new area of exploration—translating objects to images through cyanotype printing.

In Illuminations, Blumenfield continues to explore symbolism and manipulation of the recognizable formal language of ceramic vessels. By referencing, dissecting, layering, and repurposing classical ceramic forms, she reimagines vessels as hybrids, prioritizing sculptural and architectural qualities over specific functionality. References to historical ceramic works are distilled into surfaces, cross-cut profiles, and partial vessels, finished in a refined and simplistic manner with primary colored glaze.

Blumenfield’s ceramic sculptures accompany cyanotype prints and formulate a new series of miniature installations. These sculptures are also reproduced as flattened images through cyanotype printing, using their cast shadows to replicate their forms, where natural light translates three-dimensional form to two-dimensional image.

Blumenfield creates compositions for cyanotype prints by placing sculpted objects in space, where the resulting image combines qualities of light, time, and location. The print echoes the dimensionality of the source object or vessel by defining its edges and representing its depth through gradient hues of blue.

As the artist highlights specific elements of traditional ceramics in her sculptures, the cyanotype prints work similarly to deconstruct a three-dimensional vessel and re-contextualize it as a static image. The result of each print presents the source object (vessel), light (environment), and a momentary determination of its place in space and time (the artist’s hand).

An artist’s book, also titled Illuminations, is produced in collaboration with Special Special and released for the occasion of the exhibition as Special Special Edition No. 36. Printed in an edition of 100, the book features selected images of Blumenfield’s works, flattened to one color, and split across each spread by depicting the same image processed as positive and negative­—as two parts of a whole and as the presence and absence of light.


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