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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Wright Gallery presents ‘Something Tangible’


The Wright Gallery in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture will display Bryan Florentin’s latest exhibit “Something Tangible” through May 20.

Open through May 20, the Wright Gallery in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture is showcasing an exhibition entitled “Something Tangible” by Bryan Florentin.
Bryan Florentin, a visual artist and assistant professor of art and art history at the University of Texas at Arlington, is represented by Kirk Hopper Fine Art in Dallas. In his exhibition “Something Tangible,” Florentin explores the relationship between object and image in his photography and his reinterpretations of still life compositions by William Henry Fox Talbot. Florentin’s collection reimagines haphazard, unassuming materials and ordinary objects into conceptual photographs and sculptures.
Wright Gallery curator Rebecca Pugh said the gallery is dedicated to showcasing the visual arts while honoring diversity.
“The gallery provides a venue for emerging and established artists, architects and designers of local, regional, national and international acclaim,” Pugh said. “ We have a very specific mission. [The gallery] features artists from underrepresented groups and artists whose work promotes dialogue on topics of social and cultural importance.”
There are 18 works in Florentin’s “Something Tangible” exhibition, and many of the photographs are printed on traditional paper and other unique surfaces, Pugh said.
“There are four sculptures and the rest are digital photographs,” Pugh said. “The photographs include inkjet prints on cotton rag and Brita paper. There is an inkjet print titled ‘Accretion (Elongated [Bleed] Slightly Floating Invisible Distortion),’ which is a UV-cured inkjet print on an aluminum panel.”
One strength of Forentin’s exhibition is his interest in the relationship between photographs and sculptures, as well as image and object, Pugh said.
“You could see in his works he explores image and object through a one-to-one scale,” Pugh said. “For example, the bookshelves in his works are printed at the same size as the actual bookshelf that he has in his studio.”
In an introduction essay written for the exhibition, Pugh said throughout the exhibition, proportion is emphasized in the size of photographs.
“Four photographs of wooden rulers are printed to scale and mounted on wood and aluminum in the work titled, ‘4 Versions of 1 Assumption,’” Pugh said in the introduction. “At first glance these may appear to be ready-made objects; however, upon closer observation the altered measurements and blurred boundaries of photography and sculpture are evident.”
Florentin said most of the work in the exhibition wasn’t created specifically for “Something Tangible,” but represents projects he has worked on within the past several years.
“Stemming from my experiences teaching history of photography, I began a body of work
referencing photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the inventors of photography,” Florentin said. “Using Talbot’s ‘Scene in a Library,’ ‘Articles of China’ and other
works as reference points, I’ve been creating alternative versions of those photographs.”
Instead of photographing the spine side of books on shelves as Talbot did in the original “Scene of the Library,” Florentin said in his version, he removed the back panel of the bookcase to reveal the page edges.
“The result is somewhat like partially removing a form into which concrete has been poured and cured,” Florentin said. “It also suggests a kind of stratigraphy, such as when digging into a hillside and seeing otherwise hidden geological layers that have accumulated over time.”
A theory about photography is that photographs are indexical and function as an index of material reality, Florentin said.
“A printed photograph is nonetheless real, in that it’s tangible, it occupies physical space,” Florentin said. “I’m trying to find the space where there’s some confusion or slippage between the photograph as image, the photograph as object [and] the material reality context in which it’s presented, even while it often depicts some version of material reality.”
“Something Tangible” is open for viewing at the Wright Gallery weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To follow social distancing guidelines, the gallery is limited to 10 visitors at a time, and face coverings are required.

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