Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review of 'Echo' in the Boston Globe

Vitality and Strength 
By: Cate McQuaid

John Goodman's grainy, black-and-white photographs at Howard Yezerski Gallery emphasize motion and form. They convey a masculine sensibility, and a melancholy one; they celebrate vitality and strength, and grieve its short stay. The show, organized by curator Bonnell Robinson, visits several bodies of work, including photos of a Times Square boxing gym, Boston Ballet dancers, people in the streets of Havana, and more.

"Carousel/Tulsa" depicts a rodeo horse rearing behind a gate, mane flying. Goodman shot it at an angle; the people in the distant stands slide past the horse on a diagonal, ramping up the animal's height and urgency. You can see that same athletic force in the boxer gleaming with sweat in "Anthony Greene," all muscle and grit as he tapes his hands. Lights stream in from the doorway behind him, like those on a passing freight train.

A similar, more delicate rush appears in "Dominos/Havana Cuba." Goodman shot it from above, focusing on the worn game board, the dominoes reflecting in the sun. As in "Carousel/Tulsa," he angles the frame to give the shot spin. The players' hands blur as the pass over the pieces. Even the crisper photos seem to propel forward. "Father's Day/Coney Island" depicts a canoodling couple on the beach; they roll off center, toward the edge of the frame: passion at its height, and on the way out.

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