Mary Ellen Bartley: 7 Things Again and Again

May 21 - July 6, 2020
  • Yancey Richardson presents 7 Things Again and Again, an online exhibition of new still life photographs by Mary Ellen Bartley made each day during the month of April. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of 7 Things Again and Again will go to benefit the God’s Love We Deliver Covid-19 Emergency FundKnown for her exploration of the tactile and formal qualities of books, Bartley was in the midst of her residency at Giorgio Morandi’s studio and library in Bologna, Italy when the pandemic began. As Italy shutdown, she returned to her home in Sag Harbor, New York to shelter-in-place. There, Bartley assigned herself a project inspired by Morandi’s process of reduction, repetition and restraint as a vehicle for meditation and introspection. Bartley chose a set of seven common household items, and committed to photographing them each day for the thirty days of April. 

  • 'There's freedom in a circumscribed project, a project with rules. The freedom of not needing much, of appreciating and contemplating...

    "There's freedom in a circumscribed project, a project with rules. The freedom of not needing much, of appreciating and contemplating what's at hand, the freedom from too much choice. This notion that if you were isolated but had light from a window and a pencil or a camera you would be able to be engaged and create a world, and not despair."

    Mary Ellen Bartley

  • Bartley's attic studio became a refuge from the anxiety gripping the world, where her seven elements remained recognizable but were detached from their everyday function, serving instead as an exploration of form and process. Experimenting with exposure, depth of focus and subtle variations in light and shadow, Bartley transformed the quotidian objects into moments of stilled time. In addition to these quietly contained compositions, Bartley experimented with veiling the objects, re-photographing her images, or recombining portions of prints into new compositions, pushing the imagery further toward abstraction. The hushed tranquility and containment of the resulting images speak to our current moment, of a world on pause.

  • "I love the idea of expansiveness coming from limitations"

    The artist's studio, Sag Harbor, NY.
  • Mary Ellen Bartley, April 18, 2020 (from the series 7 Things Again and Again), 2020

    Mary Ellen Bartley

    APRIL 18, 2020 (FROM THE SERIES 7 THINGS AGAIN AND AGAIN), 2020

    Archival pigment print
    Image size: 18 x 12 inches
    Paper size: 22 x 17 inches
    Edition of 7

    $3,600

  • The artist's studio in Sag Harbor, NY.
    The artist's studio in Sag Harbor, NY.

    The artist's studio in Sag Harbor, NY.