Mariah Robertson’s Prismatic Photograms Showcase Her Startling Darkroom Ingenuity—See Them Here

Show of the Day: "The Hydra" at M+B, Los Angeles.

Mariah Robertson, 105 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.
Mariah Robertson, 106 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

MARIAH ROBERTSON

“The Hydra”
M+B, Los Angeles

What the Artist Says: “The photograms are made with all the basic components in a darkroom: the enlarger, the table, the timer, some paper, me, and some cardboard. It is the system built for image printing from negatives, for fine control of light. I’m just using the essentialized elements of the light control machine and the human body, a duo made for each other. Moving the cardboard mask, measuring in units of ‘my fingertips,’ then up on the toes to hit the color film base layer dial, I cup my hand around the lens to shape the shaft of light, then down to hit the pedal for an exposure, then up on the toes and crank the Yellow and the Magenta and all over again. I know the number combos that make colors… 30 Y, 130 M, 2 sec, f2.8 makes this lime green, and then my favorites are the grays which happen around 70Y 70M.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: There’s more to this show—including cool mobiles and a display of her male nudes—but the intricacy and technical verve of Robertson’s photograms pull you in all by themselves.

What It Looks Like: 

Installation view of "The Hydra" at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of “The Hydra” at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>226</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 226 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>219</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 219 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>216</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 216 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em> 229</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 229 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>227</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 227 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em> 257 258</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 257 258 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of "The Hydra" at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of “The Hydra” at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>256</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 256 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>304</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 304 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>265</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 265 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of "The Hydra" at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of “The Hydra” at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>104</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 104 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, <em>105</em> (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Mariah Robertson, 105 (2017). Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of "The Hydra" at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of “The Hydra” at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of "The Hydra" at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

Installation view of “The Hydra” at M+B. Image courtesy M+B Gallery.

 

“The Hydra” is on view through February 17, 2018.

M+B Gallery is at 612 North Almont Drive, Los Angeles.

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