"I am an abstract artist working with darkroom photograms characterized by their brilliant monochromatic tones and pleasing radial patterns."
One of Laura McClanahan's favorite activities as a child was playing with her grandmother's perfume bottles in the sink. In the darkroom, the artist experiments with glass vessels and mixing scientific light as her paint. She researches Ernst Haeckels' radiolarian drawings to understand the initial evolutionary forms of life.
For her work, Laura McClanahan convincingly replicates a scientific investigation she calls Planktonic Constructs. She uses the darkroom enlarger as a microscope with clear glass objects, some of her own design, serving as enlarged models of marine plankton's silicon skeletons. Casting a shadow of the glass onto the light sensitive paper reveals its microstructure, not normally visible.
Laura McClanahan is a 2007 graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art with an MFA in Studio Art. Her mentors were photographers and painters. McClanahan takes classes in glass blowing and rents darkroom labs. She makes her large format digital prints in her home studio. With her technical expertise and insightful vision she is a prolific and intuitive artist.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
HYDROSIS, Video Installation, New York, NY, Affordable Art Fair, Divergence Fine Art, 2010
ON A VISUAL QUEST: recent works of seven photogram artists, http://forwardthinkingmuseum.com, Forward Thinking Museum, 2010
PLANKTONIC CONSTRUCTS, Solo Exhibition, Clinton, NJ, Hunterdon Art Museum, 2009
SPONTANEOUS GENERATION, Solo Exhibition, Washington, D.C. , Arts Club of Washington, 2009
SPECIMEN: Representing the Natural World, Newark, NJ, Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers, The State University of NJ, 2008-2009
SUB-MERGE, prints and videos, New York, NY, Red Dot Art Fair, Gallery Imperato, 2008
FALL MEMBER'S EXHIBITION, Honorable Mention Award, Clinton, NJ, Hunterdon Art Museum, 2008
CHAOS PATTERNS, M.F.A. Thesis Solo Exhibition, Baltimore, MD, Fox 3 Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2007
MICA 9 IN PHILLY, M.F.A. in Studio Art, Class of 2007, Philadelphia, PA, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, 2006
REMAINS & RECONSIDERATIONS, Two-Person Exhibition, Lambertville, NJ, Artists Gallery, 2006