Monday 25 August 2008

Bill Durgin @ Merge Gallery, New York

All images ©Bill Durgin

Bill Durgin
September 4th, 2008 through November 8th, 2008
Opening reception: 6-9pm

Merge gallery let me in on how excited they are to introduce the work of Bill Durgin in his first solo exhibition with the gallery entitled "Figurations." Durgin's work will be on display opening September 4, 2008 to close October , 2008. Durgin is a New York-based photographer and his current series explores the body in a truly original framework.

Durgin's photographs are a reflection of his fascination with the body as a sculptural entity and not as a sensationalized object. His complex arrangements of the figure often require extreme contortion to achieve this austere effect, as if the veracity of his figures has been abstracted.Durgin's photos relate a symbiotic relationship between the models and the photographer. His images do not exploit, instead they explore the limits of our physical bodies and our capacity to accept the human form as just that, a form.

The figural gestures within each of Durgin's photographs examine his own physical limitations as well as those of the dancers and performers he works with. The poses in each photo require a tremendous level of skill to reach and maintain. These poses are not only impressive in their ability to seemingly defy physical limitations but they also transform the body into a foreign and amorphic figuration. While the figures are recognizable as bodies they remain detached from common perceptions of the human body.

Upon first glance, Durgin's photos possess a certain ominous and disturbing quality, the figures are slightly grotesque but only as much as one of Lucien Freud's figure studies. And in the context of the photo there is a certain architectural quality to the work. The composition is carefully considered and the colors range from light and airy to slightly moodier and grim. What remains though is the beauty of the figure and the mystery behind it. It appears as though Durgin has molded a sculpture out of flesh and then captured it at such an angle that it appears to be missing all appendages and defining human qualities. The effect can be haunting but is also captivating and stunning.

For further information or to arrange an interview with the artist, please contact Cass Zielinski or Nichole Caruso at