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When Pictures Became Art

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Each participant in the process of visual artistic exchange has his or her own preferences. For us, photography offers a blessed respite from the numbing warp-speed at which so much moving-image media spin out these days. Against the ADHD-inducing blur of TV, film and video, photography allows us to breathe, to behold and absorb a still image from an unhurried, contemplative mind state. But this presupposes our modern reality, wherein we already assume photography to be a genuine art form. In its nascent stages of the 19th-century, it was considered only a documentary medium; art in a self-conscious sense didn't visit the darkroom until the beginning of the next century. Pure Photography: Pictorial and Modern Photographs from the Syracuse University Art Collection, the new exhibit at the Foundry Art Centre (520 North Main Centre, St. Charles; 636-255-0270 or www.foundryartcentre.org), surveys this exciting formative period of photography's aesthetic evolution. The free show opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 2. Pure Photography remains up through Friday, August 1, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday.
Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-4 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Starts: May 3. Continues through Aug. 1, 2014

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