Traces: Amy Theiss Giese & Keliy Anderson-Staley

September 15, 2017-December 22, 2017


Traces features the works of Amy Theiss Giese and Keliy Anderson-Staley, two photographers whose processes and images question deep-rooted conceptions on what constitutes a photograph. Both photographers have not used camera or lens to create these abstract compositions. Their process of applying and manipulating photo chemicals, and the resulting final images, may be more akin to the language of painting. The splatters, drips, blooms, and marks in these assorted works are not unlike the movement and gestural brushwork seen in Abstract Expressionist canvases, particularly notable in Action Painting and Color Field.

Giese and Anderson-Staley’s work methods necessitate a keen understanding of the fleeting nature of photographic chemicals, darkroom techniques and materials. However, of equal importance to their processes is the sheer delight of experimentation. A creative fearlessness and willingness to embrace uncertainty is essential in realizing these evocative works. The imagery invites innumerable associations including mutable landscapes, networks, organisms, and micro/macro worlds.

Anderson-Staley resides in Houston, Texas and creates works using a wet-plate collodion tintype process—the origins of which are rooted in photography’s early history. Giese, who is based in Boston, Massachusetts, creates her images by using black and white darkroom chemistry on both silver gelatin and chromogenic papers.


Keliy Anderson-Staley (American, born 1977) Album: 7:32 pm, November 27, 2015, Wet Plate Collodion Tintype, Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery


Amy Giese (American, born 1977) Untitled Chemical Painting [MS 129] from the series The Migration of Silver, 2015, Unique silver gelatin photograph, Courtesy of the artist