Susan Eder Press

The Washington Post (3/20/2015)

By Mark Jenkins

‘Hide & Seek’ reveals the beauty in details

Susan Eder/Craig Dennis Mutations/Hide & Seek,
Marsha Mateyka Gallery, February 14 – April 4, 2015

Artistic collaborators Susan Eder and Craig Dennis specialize in near-abstract patterns, but they don’t make them. The Northern Virginia photographers find them in nature — gazing at clouds, bananas or other commonplace things through a macro lens. The diptychs in “Hide & Seek,” their show at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, look at butterflies from both sides. The two-panel pictures contrast the undersides of the insects’ wings, which feature mottled browns and eye-shaped ovals as camouflage, with tops of silky blue or red. The vividly single-hued wings are used to attract mates, but when photographed and enlarged dramatically, they resemble color-field paintings.

Eder also does solo work, such as the “Mutations” the gallery is showing. One set depicts four-, five- and six-leaf clovers, each biological curiosity endowed with authenticity by such little flaws as small holes and brown spots. The clovers are shown in glass vessels, while Eder arrays orchids in front of black backdrops, highlighting their voluptuous pinkness. Aside from arranging them in pairs or groups, Eder doesn’t manipulate the orchid images.

Four-leaf clovers are natural phenomena, but the most unusual orchids (called peloric mutations) result from cloning or genetic alteration. Magnified and isolated, they are both beautiful and bizarre. Eder simply observes, but the greenhouse alchemists who beget such blooms engage in strange magic.

Journal Europa (12/2011-1/2012)

Nantes, France

European Cinema Issue

Cover and inside imagery for lead article by Thibault Dumas

Susan Eder et Craig Dennis forment un couple et oeuvrent ensemble depuis 2001 à l’élaboration de photos originales qui dépeignent le plus souvent des situations entre l’abstraction et le figuration. Leur travail explore l’universalité de l’esprit humain pour en discerner les différentes perspectives et même solliciter des émotions produites par des phénomènes naturels.

La série entitulée The Popcorn met en forme des expressions inespérées de graines soufflées, ni modifiées, ni retouchées. Les illustrations d’Eder et Dennis sont publiées sur le site ederdennis.com. Leurs photos en édition limitée, appartenant à de nombreaux propriétaires publics comme privés, sont disponibles à la galerie Marsha Mateyka, située dans la capitale étatsunienne, Washington. marshamateykagallery.com.

Baltimore City Paper (4/15/2009)

By Martin L. Johnson

Letters, Words, and Phrases

Through April 26, 2009 at Goucher College’s Rosenberg Gallery, Baltimore, MD

The standard histories of the development of language portray the move from symbolic representation—you signal “snake” by drawing one—to abstract representation (the letters “s-n-a-k-e”) as a central breakthrough. The versatility of language systems gives them the ability to represent, however poorly, our senses, perceptions and even ideas. But language itself is a representation, as the nine artists in Letters, Words, and Phrases are all too eager to remind us. Collecting sculptors, photographers, printmakers, and mixed-media artists, the show imagines the potential of language to evoke more than itself, to make letters pictures once again.

Nowhere is this more clear than Susan Eder and Craig Dennis’ photographs of letters in the sky. This series of works convey the evolution of the project, starting with “New Cloud Roman,” which arranges cloud representations of all the letters in the alphabet along with numbers and a few typographical symbols. It’s hard to tell whether the letters are the result of skywriting or digital manipulation or days and days of sky-watching, but the quick reduction of the clouds to letters suggests that it doesn’t matter. Once one produces a complete typeface, the letters are in service of producing words. Eder and Dennis decide to spell “Nothing Lasts Forever” in one piece, and “Which Image Never Fades Away?” in another. Close examination reveals that the letters in these pieces are in fact reproductions of the letters in earlier pieces, which draws attention back to the words...

Taken for Looks:
Imaging Food in Contemporary Art

August 31 – October 29, 2006
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

By Sarah Tanguy

...The Southeast Museum of Photography’s exhibition, Taken for Looks, Imaging Food in Contemporary Photography, takes a daunting view of the sustenance of our lives, not stopping for a breath before tossing up another discomfiting view of our most cherished culinary traditions....

The collaborative duo of conceptual artists Susan Eder and Craig Dennis arrived at photography as a way to examine science and perceptual bias. Their work often has a pop art sensibility with a strong thread of humor. In “Lineage: Banana Family” a single banana is sliced into surgical cross sections that are posed against a black velvet background and photographed. The sequence of cross sections proceeds from one end of the banana to the other forming a family of banana faces. Their work mimics the fervor of “age of discovery” explorations of the natural world and other scientific inquiries with the pseudo-mapping of a species and an intense focus on specimens...

The Washington Post (8/4/2006)

By Michael O’Sullivan

‘Conversions’: Giving Rooms New Dimensions

July 20 – Sept. 29, 2006, The Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA with The Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran

All visual art, by definition, exists in space. In addition to interpreting space, at least traditionally, by presenting a window into a fictional world, every painting or photograph, like every sculpture, is a physical object. Even examples of new media with a negligible physical dimension—video art, for example—involve hardware such as monitors...

Other intriguing works include...Susan Eder and Craig Dennis’s photographs. In their collaboration, natural cloud formations appear to spell out the letters of “Which Image Never Fades Away?” It’s both the work’s title and a pretty good question...

Washington City Paper (9/30/2005, Issue: 39, Volume: 25)

By Louis Jacobson

Susan Eder and Craig Dennis

Sept. 7 – Oct. 1, 2005, The Marsha Mateyka Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Photographing clouds may not be the most original pursuit, but the work of Susan Eder and Craig Dennis is sui generis. Over the years, the two have documented clouds that look like letters and numbers—one for every letter and digit, plus punctuation marks, right down to the semicolon. Their works, showing through today at the Marsha Mateyka Gallery, combine elements of the artists’ alphanumeric collection in witty ways: an eye chart, a cinematic frame reading “THE END,” a mathematical “magic square” matrix, and even a typographical chart for the winkingly named “New Cloud Roman” font. (A second series documents the unexpected patterns visible in slices of cinnamon-swirl bread.) A few of the duo’s cloud works reach for grander meaning—one spells out “God” in dozens of languages, playing off the heavenly imagery—but even without the intellectual spin, the artists’ dreamy blue tones, plus the knowledge of how difficult it was to bring the series to fruition, are reward enough. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (to Oct. 1) at the Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R St. NW. Free. (202) 328-0088.

The New York Times (8/31/2003)

By Benjamin Genocchio

Art Review: An Exhibition Stocked with More Food Than Many Pantries

Food Matters: Explorations in Contemporary Art, Katonah Museum of Art, Aug. 10 – Oct. 26, 2003

“PLEASE, No Food or Drink in the Galleries” says a sign on the wall at the Katonah Museum of Art. I couldn’t help but laugh, for the museum is showing “Food Matters,” an exhibition of works by artists who deal with the preparation, presentation and consumption of food. Simply, the museum is stuffed with food and drink....

Without background information, much of the work here remains oblique. Fortunately, wall labels are on hand to guide you through the show. For instance, we learn that close-up photographs of popcorn kernels by Susan Eder and Craig Dennis “combine detailed observation with deadpan humor to project human or animal traits onto objects with only a minimum of cues.”

The Washington Post (7/17/2003)

By Jessica Dawson

Photos That Offer Food for Thought

Susan Eder/Craig Dennis New Photographs: Collaborations,
Marsha Mateyka Gallery, July 4 – 26, 2003

Susan Eder and Craig Dennis’s clean, minimal photographs look a little out of place in Mateyka’s ornate gallery space, but they’re unforgettable all the same. Two series find the pair photographing food—individual pieces of popcorn and sliced bananas—and blowing it up larger than a human head. Eder picked the pieces for their likeness to human faces, and they play with our propensity for finding the familiar in things like clouds and snack foods. Here, you’ll see a lamb or a skull in the corn pictures and bloated, cartoonish faces in the bananas. The popped kernels in particular are marvelous—writ large, they look like Styrofoam with a mother-of-pearl sheen. The real showstopper, though, is a 13-foot-long, eight-inch-high, three-panel expanse capturing the full wingspan of a monarch butterfly. Mounted in the gallery’s long hallway, the piece is nearly impossible to see properly because you can’t quite step far enough away. Try anyway. Printed on metallic paper, this photo’s jewellike surface could be a distant cousin of a Klimt painting.