|Above: "Black Straws," 2013, a large format photographic print in "Single Use" by Nick Albertson at Aspect/Ratio.|
January 31 - March 7, 2014
119 N. Peoria Street
Whether in casual conversation or in published text, critics exploring photography often settle upon genre and technique--though such well-worn inroads rarely offer any new perspective on the works in question. And for want of an ability or desire to move beyond the immediate subject, or the mechanics of that subject's rendition, the meaning which might be suggested by some more subtle attribute or modality is usually ignored. For example, Nick Albertson's formal concerns, insofar as they are evident within his prints which are currently on display in Aspect/Ratio, suggest that he enjoys some intellectual kinship with abstract painters. That is to say, what appears most distinctive within "Single Use" is Albertson's effort to cultivate pattern by repetitively staging modular, geometric units before the whole of his camera's frame. 
|Above: "Cones (diptych)," 2013, at left; "Black Straws," 2013, at right; Aspect/Ratio installation view.|
Having written all of that, no such remarks about post-painterly abstraction ought to be taken as an effort to divorce Albertson from the field of photography, generally, nor the tradition of its practice, locally. Maybe most like Barabara Kasten (who herself seems easy to connect to Constructivism) Albertson has pursued a sort of studio work in which inanimate objects are structured and lit for capture with a large format film camera. And, like Laura Letinsky, Albertson has demonstrated an interest in the use of props which are related to the production and consumption of food, e.g., plates. Too, Albertson's compositions sometimes incorporate office supplies--which might remind one of Jessica Labatte's use of such things as tape rolls and Post-it notes.
|Above: "Black Straws," 2013, at left; "Black/White Plates," 2013, at right; Aspect/Ratio installation view.|
|Above: "Cones (diptych)," 2013, through video gallery doorway; Aspect/Ratio installation view.|
 Compare Nick Albertson's "Black Straws," 2013, to Scott Reeder's "Untitled (Pasta Painting)," 2013:
Images (1-4) February 1, 2014;
Copyright Paul E. Germanos, where not a slavish reproduction of the original artist's work.