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Michael Gesinger and Denis R. Kempe
From February 15th until March 27th, Benham Studio-Gallery is privileged to feature work by the following photographers:

Michael Gesinger, a Benham resident artist, who will show "New Works in Nudes and Interiors of Shadow and Light". Gesinger's photographs of nudes have received widespread critical acclaim and have been featured in respected trade publications such as Collectors' Photography, Art Week, and Camera and Darkroom. His work resides in many permanent collections, including those of the Portland Art Museum, the King County Arts Commission, and Pacific Northwest Bell. Over the last 20 years, Mr. Gesinger has exhibited throughout the US and Europe, from New York City to Seattle to Barcelona. He is most renowned for his elegant, innovative work with nudes, and this show at Benham will feature his latest photographs in this genre. Mr. Gesinger's previous nudes have evoked a pristine, gem-like clarity that emphasizes the classic stylistic eloquence of the human form. His new work uses photographic tones and focus to explore the inner spiritual motion of the nude as perceived by the artist. This exhibition will also showcase a new direction to Mr. Gesinger's art: haunting, toned images of centuries-old church and chateau interiors in France, Mexico, and Italy. These photographs illustrate both the beauty and radical otherness of the past.

Denis R. Kempe, another resident Benham artist, who will exhibit a body of new work entitled "Sky Dwellings". Mr. Kempe's photographs are in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum and in other collections. He has shown work in many different venues throughout the US, and in 1994, his art was chosen by acclaimed photographer Joel-Peter Witkin to appear in that year's Northwest Annual at Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA). Mr. Kempe is also a co-director of Collusion Unlimited Gallery, one of Seattle's premier sponsors of contemporary art exhibitions. In addition, he has co-produced, along with Catherine Peila and former Benham co-owner Lisa Sharamitaro, the project "No Apologies Necessary... Spirits Unbroken," a compendium of Eastern European perspectives drawing from a diverse range of artistic and social disciplines. Mr. Kempe is well-known for his black and white photographs of urban architectural details and deserted city streets. Culled from his extensive national and international travels, his art is a testimony to the duration of visible forms that are sponsored by darkness. For his show at Benham, he and his Leica camera travelled to the American Southwest in order to better document the subtle psychological intricacies of the region through its architecture. This work is a welcome respite from the R. C. Gorman pastiches and garish postcard photographs that pander to tourists.

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