Photograms take a path, diverging for the representational world of film photography, towards investigating what a photograph is and how it can relate to other mediums.
Instead of using the work to define what is medium-specific to photography, as seen in much of Modernist and New Medium work, I am pulling back to the strong visual links among all the mediums. The straightforward technique of the photogram allows exploration of the intrinsic qualities of two-dimensional images: the stark, graphic quality of the black and white, emerging gradation of tones in between, and the complex marriage of negative and positive shapes.
These black and white photograms allow one to work through visual ideas in an immediate way in the darkroom. The resulting abstract compositions allow me to pursue problems essential to qualitative thought processes behind image-making; what is beautiful, what is visually compelling? Yet, with the rich tonal qualities of the silver and the spatial interplay of the translucent materials used to create the range of values, each non-reproducible image remains at heart, a photograph.
Photogram images are created either by layering transparent and translucent materials on the enlarging easel or hanging them vertically in front of photographic paper with the easel head tipped back. This method of working allows for sequential images working forward on a visual idea with the ability to immediately make change to composition with sensitivity to design and mood
Lisa Bang Hoffman is a Minnesota native, graduating from Gustavus Adolphus
College in 1991, with a degree in studio art. She moved to Nebraska in 1992 to
attend the University of Nebraska’s Master of Fine Art program in photography,
graduating in 1995.
Upon completing her Masters degree, she has taught in an adjunct capacity at the
University of Nebraska, Doane College, and Concordia University, instructing design,
drawing, and darkroom photography. Traditional darkroom work, primarily gelatin
silver prints and alternative processes, continues to be the focus of her personal
work. Through these mediums she explores both figural and more recently has
turned back to an early interest in abstract work, taking the form of photograms.
Within Nebraska she has shown at the Bemis Prescott Gallery Eisentrager-Howard
Gallery at the University of Nebraska. Solo exhibitions have been held at the Museum
of Nebraska Art and Marxhausen Gallery at Concordia University in Seward. Bang
Hoffman is currently on the roster of Touring Artists for the Nebraska Art Council.
Bang Hoffman exhibits her work nationally and internationally; with honors including
the Nebraska Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award in 2004, the Gaudi Medal from
the Institut Municipal D’Accio Cultural, Reus, Spain, 2005, and was a finalist in the
Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, York, UK. Most recently
her work was included in the Berlin Foto Biennial.
She continues to reside in Lincoln, NE, with her husband and four children.
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