11 June to 20 July 2008
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Crane Kalman Brighton is pleased to present the second solo show from French photographer Karine Laval. After 2006's 'The Pool', the new collection of work focuses on the subject of 'Leisure'. The exhibition will run from 11th June to 20th July.
Moving beyond the confines of outdoor city pools and lidos, for this new body of work, Laval focuses on the universal language of leisure - the way we all behave when away from the cares and toils of normal working life. The images are captured in France, Germany, Poland, England, Patagonia and beyond, and all feature Laval's highly distinctive trademark off-balanced compositions and quirky wit and humour.
Laval's images are spontaneous, playful and filled with colour and life. Unusual angles and odd cropping add to the slightly surreal nature of the images – people caught in mid-air as they throw themselves off a jetty; a mass of disembodied bobbing heads performing water aerobics in a holiday pool. The rich colours work as an expressive tool; the saturated blues and whites exaggerating the strong feeling of Summer heat and haze.
In the pictures, Laval focuses on the notion of space and people's relationship with the environment they inhabit, to create a visual narrative for our very familiar and recognisable leisure time pursuits. Beaches, pools and holiday resorts dominate as motifs for contemporary life – locations which mix natural elements – water, beaches, fields – with the man-made constructions of our leisure time – cultural and social spaces where we are forced to interact while supposedly relaxing away from the stresses and strains of work and everyday life.
A native of France, Laval studied communications and journalism at the Sorbonne and the University of ASSAS in Paris. She then completed her education with photography and design courses at Cooper Union, SVA and the New School of New York. Laval has been based in New York since 1997 alternating her time between the US and Europe working on assignments and personal projects. Portraits and photo essays have appeared in magazines and publications including the book Here Is New York, published by Scalo after September 11, 2001.
Her work has also been featured in a wide variety of magazines including The Village Voice, The New Yorker, Elle, Fabric, Dazed & Confused and Harper's. Her work has also been widely exhibited in Europe and the US, including a recent solo show at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York.
Laval was a recipient of the Peter Reed Foundation Grant in 2005 and was selected as one of PDN Magazine's Top 30 Photographers of 2006. Her work has been acquired by the Citibank Collection (New York), the Henry Buhl Collection (New York) and was exhibited as part of the Buhl Foundation Collection at the Guggenheim Museum in 2004, Collection Corbiere (Paris) and the Contemporanea Collection (Rio de Janeiro).
'Karine Laval: Leisure' will run from 11th June to 20th July. Crane Kalman Brighton is located at 38 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL. For any further information, please contact Richard Kalman on 07775 927143 or visit www.cranekalmanbrighton.com.
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