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Light and nature fuel Amanda Means’ show ‘Forms and Forces’

Artist Amanda Means has taken a simple childhood fascination – the way light illuminates and changes plant life – and amplified it into a career-long exploration. Some results of that exploration are on view in Nina Freudenheim Gallery (120 North St.), where an exhibition of her light-based experiments with leaves and paper, “On Forms and Forces,” is on view through Oct. 28.

The show includes two bodies of work. The first, “Leaves,” is the result of dark-room experiments in which Means shines a light through plant leaves using the bulb from a photographic enlarger, which “reveals the details of the microcosm and lends a breathtaking glow to the image,” according to a release. The other, “Abstractions,” is based on Means’ complex manipulation of pieces of paper involving scoring it with a knife, rolling it flat with a wooden cylinder and exposing it to photo-chemical substances.

“Her celebration of the beauty and the infinite subtlety of her subjects is informed by her experience as a skilled master printer, having worked for Robert Mapplehtorpe and Berenice Abbott,” according to a statement. “This experience has imparted a deep understanding of how light-sensitive materials can express infinitely nuanced grey tones.”

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- Colin Dabkowski

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