Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography
The advent of photography in the early 19th century meant that the true face of the world could be preserved for posterity, but artists soon realized it was a medium worth exploring for more avant-garde expression. These 20th and 21st century artists spent countless hours in the darkroom tinkering with such techniques as perspective, cropping, multiple exposures and altering the chemical processing of film. The results of these early experiments will be on display at Heckscher including a collection of photograms, which are created when an object and photographic paper interact sans camera. Prime examples of photograms can be seen in the portfolio Electricité by surrealist Man Ray. The series was commissioned by a Parisian power company in 1931 and depicts household objects radiating electricity. (See our review of this exhibit here.)

Modern Alchemy: Experiments in Photography
will be showing until March 15 at The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington. (631) 351-3250,

Elemental Realms
A group of abstractionists are reducing art to an elemental level at the Agora contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. Amanda Wand, aka Mando, creates flowing, kinetic abstracts in acrylic. Stefania Nesi uses gold leaf and abstracted religious imagery to explore spirituality and color philosophy, and Swedish artist Fredrik Wicklund builds solid abstractions using brushes, knives and his hands to apply a mixture of pigments and sand to his work. The end result mimics the appearance of stone while maintaining an overall visual harmony.

Elemental Realms will be on display from Feb 10 to March 3 at Agora Gallery in Manhattan. (212) 226-4151,

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.