Ian Kline Honorably Mentioned
May 1–18, 2019
Ian Kline's photographs feel like film stills: images of a manufactured world teeming with color, confusion and a touch of the absurd. A red haired, older woman strikes a dramatic pose in a backyard, shielding her eyes from the sun while tattered tarps billow around her like shabby ghosts. A quartet of teenagers, shot from above in black and white, make their way down a dirt road, while their shadows stretch out in from of them, epic in scale, larger than life. A pair of hands, fingers and wrists bedecked in gold rings and carved bangles, lift a tangle of soft, felt packing blankets to reveal the profile of a wooden sculpture, dusty with age.
While these moments feel plucked from a fictitious tale, they are the products of keen, and considered observation on Kline's behalf. They reveal sustained attention to a specific landscape, one where, in Kline's words, "time is unable to completely escape...where a cycle of movements continually repeat those of the past in slightly different ways." Highlighting the ability of the past to replay itself, albeit with subtle manipulations, Kline gets to the core of how certain geographies can feel stuck, or static, both to these entering them, as well as to those who live within them. Noting his place as an outsider within Pittsburgh, Kline nevertheless feels elements within this place that mirror back his own upbringing. "I’m not from Pittsburgh," Kline states, "but I currently live here. This space holds the visual ingredients that have been close to me since I was born: a blue collar landscape wedged between worn farms with white pickup trucks on the gravel and the four bedroom houses on the hills with clean bricks and flowers that need water."
This body of work, while ongoing, places Kline in the midst of an uncanny reckoning. Feeling the past appear in new moments right before his eyes, Kline refuses to act as a silent bystander. Capturing moments infused with time's strange ability to reflect the past and present simultaneously, the click of Kline's shutter hits pause on this endless cycle, even if only for a second.
Honorably Mentioned is a series of online exhibitions highlighting work from artists chosen as Honorable Mentions for Silver Eye's Fellowship competition. Each year, Silver Eye receives hundreds of talented, innovative submissions of work, but can inevitably only choose two artists for our International and Keystone Awards. This series seeks to feature the six artists selected as Honorable Mentions by our jurors for their outstanding bodies of work. Ian Kline was selected as an Honorable Mention for the Keystone Prize, by juror Jessica Beck, Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA.