archival digital pigment print,  black, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, drawer, empty, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, painted wood, photograph, square format

Untitled (Black Balloons Box), 2016 


A square drawer painted black, showing the traces and silhouettes of sprayed paint.  (id#1207)


49,0 x 49,1 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

31,4 x 31,5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print,  black, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, drawer, empty, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, painted wood, photography

Untitled (Box for Medium Objects), 2017


An empty wooden box with a textured rice paper glued inside it.  (id#1253)


49,0 x 71,6 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

28,3 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, empty, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, photograph, photography, still life

Untitled (Crate B), 2017 


A shallow, empty wooden fruit crate.  (id#1241) 


49,0 x 65,3 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

30,9 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, empty, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, photograph, photography, still life

Untitled (Crate A), 2017 


A shallow, empty wooden fruit crate.  (id#1239)


48,9 x 65,4 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

30,9 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.


archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, photography, still life, texture, homogeneous, square format

Untitled (Germogli IIA), 2016


A large, pale box filled with a surface of alfalfa sprouts (germinated in the box itself),dried and varnished over, composed of six panels photographed separately and unified. (id#1213)


49,3 x 49,1 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

31,6 x 31,5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, still life, texture, homogeneous, six panels

Untitled (Germogli IIB, Six panels), 2016


A large, six-paneled image of a surface of alfalfa sprouts, dried and varnished over.  (id#1215A-F)


48,4 x 72,6 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi, each panel.

(145,2 x 145,2 cm. overall, plus gaps)

27,6 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, each panel.

(82,7 x 82,6 cm. overall, plus gaps)

Limited edition to be established.


archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, paint, photography, still life, texture, homogeneous, square format

Untitled (Germogli IIC), 2016


A very large image of a surface of alfalfa sprouts, dried and varnished over, composed of six panels photographed separately and then unified in post-production.  (id#1217)


140,4 x 142,5 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

31,0 x 31,5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old, photograph, still life, texture, homogeneous, ab...

Untitled (Cutting Board I), 2016

A black cutting board, heavily scarred by use, photographed in a single high-definition frame, fine for this flat subject.  (id#1205)


49,0 x 65,4 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

31,0 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

plaster, relief, blisters, medicine, impression, photograph, photography, pigment print, plaster relief impression, archival digital pigment print, monochromatic

Untitled (Blister Relief), 2016 


A slab of plaster with the relief impression of a collage of medicine blisters, photographed in a single high-definition frame, quite enough for this shallow subject.  (id#899)


44,8 x 73,6 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

25,2 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 534ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, B&W, BW digital print, close-up, digital print, fine art, photograph, photography, pistachio shells, plaster relief impression, relief, monochromatic, deep focus

Untitled (Pistachio Plaster Relief), 2015


A plaster relief cast from a mould prepared with pistachio shells, photographed in multiple focus in three sections and reassembled. (id#889)


41.4 x 86.3 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

19.8 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, B&W, BW digital print, black and white, digital print, enigmatic, fine art, photograph, photography, monochromatic, plastic, rubber, close-up, grid, regular

Untitled (No-Bump Sheet), 2018


A sheet of tiny, soft adhesive pads, photographed in multiple focus (only two focuses) in a single high-definition frame.  (id#1269)


38.8 x 73.1 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

21.9 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 531ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, B&W, BW digital print, black and white, digital print, enigmatic, fine art, photograph, photography, monochromatic, silicone, close-up, grid, regular

Untitled (Silicone Scrub Pad), 2018


 A section of a silicone scrub pad, photographed in multiple focus (three focuses) in a single high-definition frame.  (id#1265) 


25.9 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 316ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

A black-and-white photograph of a small piece of textured paper, its design a dense interlacing of ribbed areas and wormlike shapes.

Untitled (Vermiform Paper Texture, 2018


A tiny piece of textured packaging paper, photographed in multiple focus (seven focuses) in a single high-definition frame. (id#1299)


48.9 x 73.3 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi. 

27.5 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 532ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, B&W, BW digital print, black and white, digital print, enigmatic, fine art, photograph, photography, monochromatic, silicone, close-up, diagonal, stripes, regular, aluminum, painted, deep focus

Untitled (Tubo Aluminio Nero), 2018


A short length of flexible aluminum tubing, painted black, and photographed in multiple focus in a single high-definition frame.  (id#1263)


47.6 x 71.4 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

27.5 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 519ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

archival digital pigment print, B&W, BW digital print, black and white, digital print, enigmatic, fine art, photograph, photography, monochromatic, silicone, close-up, grid, regular, hardware, storage, drawers, deep focus

Untitled (Cassettini Minuteria), 2018


A rack of small, plastic, hardware-sorting drawers, photographed in multiple focus in a single high-definition frame.  (id#1257)


48.8 x 68.2 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

29.6 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 495ppi.

Limited edition to be established.

leather, belt pieces, bricolage, collage, column, photograph, photography, archival digital pigment print

Untitled (Belt Fragments), 2016


Several pieces of leather belt glued to a wooden board, photographed in three sections and reassembled into a very large image.  (id#1231)


142,2 x 71,7 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

41,3 x 20,8 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.

Limited edition to be established.

A black-and-white photograph of pieces of wood arranged in four columns, showing their texture and the traces left by their previous use.

Untitled (Wooden Slats), 2018


Four slats salvaged from a piece of lawn furniture, photographed in a single high-definition frame. (id#1297)


73.5 x 49.0 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

41.3 x 27.5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 534ppi.

Limited edition to be established. 

persimmons, desiccated, homogeneous, photograph, archival digital pigment print, black-and-white, close-up, digital photography, equilibrium, fine art, found objects, monochromatic, old

Untitled (Persimmons), 2016 (for Mu Chi) 


A shallow wooden fruit crate filled with dried persimmons.  (id#965)


48,9 x 66,6 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

30,3 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 475ppi.

Limited edition to be established.


Mu Chi, or Muqi Fachang, is the name of a famous Chinese artist of the 13th Century, who was also a Zen Buddhist monk.  One famous brush-and-ink painting of his is a still life of six persimmons.


rose hips, wooden tray, rose berries, desiccated, homogeneous, photograph, photography, uniform, texture

Untitled (Rose Hips in Tray) 2016 


A rough wooden crate filed with hundreds of dried-out rose hips.  (id#947)


49,0 x 65,7 cm. at native resolution of 300ppi.

30,1 x 41,3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format, at ca. 477ppi.

Limited edition to be established.


I have worked with rose hips before, e.g., a color scan of the rose hips arranged in a gradient from deep yellow to red to dark brown, that can be found elsewhere on this site.

Departures and Detours


This section offers a few items of possible interest, occasional subjects, photographed along with the more typical still-life photographs seen nearby on this site, but which simply didn't go well alongside them.  The subjects, and how I arrived at setting them up, are somewhat different from those of the still-life images, and so of course are the results.


Easiest to explain are the empty boxes and trays, usually seen in other photographs filled with arrangements of objects or materials.  In those photographs I took considerable trouble with the settings - comparable to how much I took with the choice and arrangement of objects.  Sometimes the boxes and trays were just what I wanted without any changes on my part.  Other times I wanted to change the background or surface so as to enrich it texturally as a counterpoint to the objects.  Still other times I found the surface too irregular or differentiated, and worked on it to make it more homogeneous.  Either way, I got what I wanted by painting or staining, or by scratching the surface with a tool or some abrasive.*


With all this work (and sometimes without any), the boxes themselves often became very alluring even when empty.  I may not have seen this so clearly when I was concentrated on the composition of the picture, but once or twice after finishing with a picture and emptying the tray of all material, I was struck by its luminosity, its luster, brought out by the soft light of my photographic set.  They were evocative, all by themselves and empty.  I just had to photograph them; it was an artistic imperative.  (Although I still used my multiple-focus technique, they were also technically easier to photograph than the still-life pictures.)  I don’t always agree that less is more (most of my other photographs will attest to that), but on these occasions it seemed that less was indeed more, or just as much, but different.  What does it all mean – something about emptiness or nothingness? Food for thought – maybe that’s the purpose, if not quite the meaning.


Anyway, two of these photographs (the Black Balloons Box and the Box for Medium Objects) are of the boxes used as settings for other photographs found nearby on this site.  Two others (Crate A and Crate B)) are followed, several pictures later, by the arrangements with the same trays filled with material.  For their part, those two images (Persimmons and Rose Hips) of which I had made preliminary versions a couple of years earlier) lie on the fringes of my more typical still-life photography in that they consist of many objects, or very many, and approach the textural images I’ve done over the years, another considerable body of work.


Three more, Germogli IIA, Germogli IIB, and Germogli IIC (not a set, though derived from the same subject), are hard-core textural photographs in turn derived from Germogli (Bean Sprouts in Drawer) nearby on the site.  That picture is a bit of a departure from my other still life; although it’s a drawer or shallow box, it is bright instead of dark, and it is filled with a pretty uniform distribution of material – green azuki beans sprouted and then arranged in the box – instead of a small or at least countable number of discrete objects.  I didn’t just get rid of that when I was done; I augmented it, sprinkling alfalfa seeds all over, and spraying it with water for several days to keep it humid and let the sprouts germinate.  I had a thick jungle of sprouts growing this way and that in the box.  I let it all dry out, then applied a few coats of diluted polyvinyl glue to finish it.  Finally I took the pictures:  a set for the entire box in one high-definition frame, then another (excluding the sides of the box and the shadowed area of the sprouts) for both the six-paneled image and the large assembly.


These rather minimalist images – whether of empty boxes or fields of uniform texture – may seem quite different from my usual stock-in-trade.  In fact they are, if only superficially.  More fundamentally, they also hope to elicit the same kind of state of mind that I try to evoke with still life.  As for the textural pictures, if they need any more reason to be than this, I should only mention again my long involvement with texture as a subject.  You can see the extent of this work elsewhere on this site, under Calligraphic Abstraction and Pulp and Acrylic Textural Pieces.  Elsewhere I have mentioned that in my first experience (at the age of seven or eight, I think) with a camera – a simple plastic 127, obtained for 50 cents and 30 Bazooka Joe comics – I took a few pictures of the grass at my feet, excluding any context.  Even then I just knew I had to do this, and maybe I even had an idea of why.


Another is an abstract sort of photograph of – what – a humble cutting board.  Even though the fact is completely incidental to the image.  I’ve always been fascinated by the visual evidence of ongoing processes, natural or artificial, and as this black plastic board became scarred and worn over the course of several years, I liked what was developing.  It was a readymade – not a readymade art object, like Duchamp’s urinal, but a readymade photographic subject.  Another is a photograph of a collage of cut-up old leather belts.  Honestly I’m not sure if the photo is the work, or the collage.  Yet another is of four roughly-textured wooden slats, perforated and scarred from their previous incarnation in a chaise longue.  There are also photographs of two plaster reliefs:  one cast from pistachio shells, the other from a collage of medicine blisters.  The collage itself is the subject of another photograph.  Again, I’m not sure which is the work – the original collage, on display in my house, or the photograph of it, or the photograph of the relief – I think maybe all three.  It gets complicated, but we needn’t worry about it.


In addition, there are a few more images of small objects with particular surfaces, which show a highly regular pattern.  In much of my past work (not only in photography but in painting and printmaking too) I've been powerfully drawn to regularity and repetition.  I've noticed also that many of my subjects are utilitarian in origin, but that the photographs take them completely out of context.  I do think about this at times - about why that should be -  but basically trust my instincts about what and how to photograph.


The sizes of the editions of these images are yet to be established, but will certainly not be more than ten signed and numbered prints of any size (whether A3Plus or native dimension), and possibly an artist's proof.



*During my MFA days at Lehman College, a painting professor of mine (the extraordinary Kent Floeter, who had a rather flip view of the tendencies in in modern painting during the 1970s), characterized as the “fetish finish” the work of the numerous artists who did large, almost monochromatic paintings with an intense interest in the texture of the painted surface.  (Kent is also the subject of an well-known painting by Chuck Close.)


© 2017 Allen Schill.  All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced or used without prior written permission from the author.  Anyone is welcome to link to it, or to quote brief passages, but I would like to be notified.

© Copyright Allen Schill

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