Untitled - July 20, 1991 - Jack Acid, Blatz
Axis gallery is pleased to present Murray Bowles' Sixteen Frames, a selection of his photographic works that depict the energy filled spaces of this region’s underground music subculture. Renowned throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Bowles is held in especially high regard by punk cognoscenti for his devoted photography actions and his generous distribution of prints. Bowles participated in thousands of gatherings, from the center of the floor, with his camera and flash held high, recording the people and interiors from the early 1980’s until his death in 2019. As his anarchic subjects move with abandon inside derelict buildings, their bodies and limbs flail beyond the confines of the camera viewfinder. The resulting images subvert common notions of pictorial order. Bowles’ compositions are immediate and dynamic, their formal qualities produced primarily by the photographer’s proximity to the chaos and his use of dedicated flash lighting. For this exhibition the negatives are printed at larger scale on Photo Rag Paper and captioned by writers influenced by his artistry. These photographs are high energy constructs that depict artist/audience collaborations within the architecture of abandoned barns, former factories, warehouses and suburban homes. Spaces of former industrial/agricultural production or suburban domestic stasis are temporarily repurposed into sites of ecstatic communal joy and subcultural production. Bowles’ Sixteen Frames transmit the Knowledge forward.
This exhibition is made possible with the gracious support of the Bowles family and through their generous access to his extensive photographic archive. The exhibition is organized and co-curated by Luke Turner and Justin Marsh.
About the curators:
Luke Turner is an artist/curator and guest lecturer that works as a museum professional at UC Davis. He has curated exhibitions at Jack Shainman Gallery (NYC), Mills College Art Museum's Records and Research (Oakland), Keys That Fit (Oakland), and California College of the Arts (San Francisco). He grew up in Livermore, CA in the 1980's and his work is influenced by formative experiences within the East Bay skateboard and punk cultures.
Justin Marsh is a California native working between multiple art mediums with a specific interest in comprehending failure. His studio practice explores personal/human tragedy, collapsed structures, and structural collapse. He is an artist member at Axis Gallery, Sacramento and a museum professional at UC Davis.