Gary Emrich : All Consumed
Jul 21 – Aug 25, 2018
In conjunction with the Denver Art Museum exhibition, “New Territory: Landscape Photography Today,” Robischon Gallery is pleased to present selections from Gary Emrich’s abstracted photographic series entitled “All Consumed.” As part of the DAM’s wide-ranging survey of unconventional photographic explorations and Robischon Gallery’s four-part, abstraction-based exhibition, Emrich’s new work exemplifies his decades-long pursuit of experimentation in image-making. For “All Consumed,” the artist inventively merges the abstract with a new kind of symbolic narrative by utilizing the water-bottle’s common-place packaging for his compositions. Inspired by the light-reflecting properties of the plastic forms and the inherent wholesomeness of the commercial imagery used, Emrich has often considered the commodification of water in the face of its scarcity or waste. In this series, Emrich accentuates and questions the consumer-orientated aspects surrounding his subject by altering and reconfiguring how bottled water may also be viewed. In a dizzying array of packaging, the diminishing and vital liquid resource is typically pitched as pristine and abundant with visions of snow-covered peaks, rushing mountain streams and lush forests. The bold graphic elements and appealing brightly-colored labels provide the artist with abundant conceptual imagery for his elaborate, process-driven approach. Emrich states, “‘All Consumed” is a series of landscape photographs fabricated from bottled water packaging and water-filled, clear molded plastic “blister packs.” These constructions are shot with a view camera, freeing them from digital manipulation and enabling the imagery to be enlarged to a monumental scale. As part of the project, I invert the value of the things we buy by preserving and elevating the disposable and ubiquitous packaging and plastics we throw away, to make trash an object of desire and beauty. ‘All Consumed’ addresses the impact of effective branding by the bottled-water industry on consumers as we move toward the inevitability of water as a commodity worldwide.” Visually engaging and culturally complex, Emrich’s insightful series invites a timely assessment of American consumption of a vanishing global resource through the unifying and expansive lens of abstraction.