THE WORK AND THE ARTIST
Artist: Sutor, Nancy
Title/Date: Shadowgram with Milagros, undated
Description of the work:
The work is a view of a six-pane window that appears to be taken from the inside looking out. There are palm trees in the bottom panes, a flower head peeks in the upper right and silhouettes of tiny metal animals (Mexican ex-votos; milagros) and other objects are scattered throughout the composition, as though they are attached to the glass. The image is a large-format cyanotype photogram set on watercolor paper, clean cut on the long side. Embedded over the hand-applied emulsion, which was allowed to pool in some areas, are negative images. A few of the miniature negatives have been tinted with pink, yellow, blue and green watercolors.
The print is an exploration of shadows and silhouettes, light and transparency, a cryptic exposure of both the subject images and the production process. Sutor writes about her approach to photography: “Photography is an accepted illusion but the way it can subvert reality leaves an ephemeral space for the imagination to inhabit.”
A Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print. Most often associated with architectural blueprints, it has often been used as an artistic tool by photographers. Unlike black-and-white photographs set in silver, a cyanotype is created using a solution of iron compounds brushed over the paper. After drying in the dark, objects can then be placed on the surface and the photograph exposed to light. To complete the development process, the image is rinsed with water to reveal a white print on blue background.
Nancy Sutor studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a BFA in 1977. She has long worked in and around the community of Santa Fe, NM, teaching photography at the College of Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keefe Museum and been a visiting teacher at New Mexican primary and secondary schools in Alamogordo, Mesilla Valley, Las Vegas and Albuquerque.
Sutor has curated exhibits in connection with the Lannan Foundation, the Marion Center for Photographic Arts at the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Center for Photography, the Armory for the Arts and Eidolon, an artists’ space she co-founded in 1994 in Santa Fe. She served as Interim Director of the Marion Center for Photographic Arts at the College of Santa Fe from 2006-2008 where she also taught from 1996-2008. Her works are held in a number of private and corporate galleries and Sutor was listed alongside noted visual artists, Paul Caponigro, Mary Peck, William Clift and Meridel Rubenstein in the 1981 publication, Fourteen Photographers from Santa Fe. Sutor lives in Santa Fe, NM, where she continues to exhibit and work as a curator.
Signed: Unsigned, attributed by accession on the verso.
Dates and Dimension: undated; paper 31 x 22.75”, mat 40 x 32”
Medium: Cyanotype with watercolor
Accession and Acquisition: # 1980.4.1 Date: 1980
Provenance and Exhibitions: Friends of the Gallery purchased in 1980. Although Sutor has participated in numerous individual and group exhibitions, there is no documentation this particular piece was included in any.
Framed or Flat: unframed, floated mount.
Current Location: Piece is part of the University Art Gallery’s permanent collections at New Mexico State University.
Newhall Goldman, Albert and Beaumont. Fourteen Photographers from Santa Fe. Palm Beach: Gemini Gallery, 1981
–http://www.nancysutor.com/ accessed November 18, 2016.
–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQoM_48Ud0k/ accessed November 18, 2016.
-https://www.facebook.com/nancy.sutor.52/ accessed November 2016.
-http://www.nmartmuseum.org/site/exhibitions/past/past-exhibitions-2012/alcove-12.0/alcove-12.4/nancy-sutor.html/ accessed November 16, 2016.
-http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes/cyanotype/cyanotype-classic-process/ accessed November 16, 2016.
Reproductions: Original, no documented reproductions.
Researched by: Carleen Cirillo, 20 November 2016