Light Fills Citret’s Formal Epiphanies
by Alan G. Artner
July 6, 2001
Mark Citret’s photographs at the Catherine Edelman Gallery divide fairly neatly into two groups: neo-Pictorialist landscapes and epiphanies in which a mystical element is suggested abstractly through light.
The landscapes derive from the misty Romantic style that was popular a century ago. Neo-Pictorialism pretty much takes moodiness as an end in itself, and Citret’s unpeopled, fog-enshrouded landscapes are indistinguishable from countless others.
His photographic epiphanies are, however, something else. Indebted to Minor White and Paul Caponigro, they nonetheless stake out territory of their own, usually by having light blaze within strongly geometric confines that often are architectural, meaning corridors, stairways and empty interiors. These are formal semi-abstractions and prove satisfying as such. But the light also suggests a kind of spirituality in the everyday.
The best of them are the simplest, as when a ladder leans into a spotlighted corner of a room and the surface of a playground slide thrusts eerily toward us, gleaming. These images achieve an effect that goes beyond their spartan means.