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Von Lintel Gallery : Joni Sternbach : Surfboard


Von Lintel Gallery presents its second solo exhibition of photographs by Joni Sternbach, culled from her most recent series Surfboard.

Over the last twenty years, Sternbach has worked with large format cameras and early photographic processes to explore how we observe, relate to, and interact with the earth’s oceans. For her current exhibition she digs deeper, concentrating on the vessel designed for ocean voyage, the surfboard. Surfboards, through Sternbach’s eyes are remarkable examples of functional design, that as a group tell a compelling story of a critical American art form. These sculptural totems reflect culture and class, echoing the politics of their time. Through this new body of work, Sternbach deftly draws connections between materials, objects and human experience.


The Artist’s Statement:

I document historic surfboards making large-format, collodion coated glass negatives. The collodion process allows the elements of each board to be reduced in a purposeful transformation, as the chemistry itself has unique color sensitivities and insensitivities, rendering certain colors more prominent and others invisible. This quality of the process is essential to the work itself as it allows us to see details that lie just below the surface, which are not perceptible by the human eye. Finally, I connect the elements by laying the glass plate on silver gelatin paper to make contact prints, repeating the gesture of rider to board. Through these elaborate wet processes, I capture how surfboards, as primitive vehicles of sport and transport, take on and fulfill totemic and archetypal meaning and force.


Joni Sternbach is a native New Yorker. She received a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and an MA from New York University/International Center of Photography. Her work is included in many public collections including LACMA, Los Angeles, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; CA; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO; and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.


Joni Sternbach : Surfboard

November 7 – December 19, 2020

Von Lintel Gallery

1206 Maple Ave. #212

Los Angeles, CA 90015




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