Type A: Introduction

Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art is pleased to announce represention of Type A, an artistic collaboration between Adam Ames (American, b. 1969) and Andrew Bordwin, (American, b. 1964).

In a new series of work, titled Menace, Type A play off the tropes of film noir and horror, as well as the aesthetics of early gravure photography. The images explore the presence and authority of male threat. Darkness and uncertainty go hand in hand, obfuscating intentions.

Menace premieres 17 January 2019 at the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College. The exhibition will run through 14 April 2019. Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art will show the work in New York in the fall of 2019. 

By focusing on ways men compete, work and play, Type A exposes social and psychological imbalance as well as convergence of traditional masculine and feminine characteristics. Whether dissecting sports or politics, the results range from psychologically disarming to profoundly absurd. In recent years, Type A has focused on urgent socio-political issues: definition of territory and authority, perpetuation of fear and safety. Their practice now includes unconventional materials, experiential performance, and unorthodox means of distribution. As contemporary society has become increasingly fragmented and unpredictable, so too has Type A’s methodology.

In Menace each member of Type A is shrouded in darkness, enacting a series of poses, some of which are overtly hostile, while others are more ambiguous, the inky black hiding key details that could clarify the situation. Other poses are less overt, employing placating and oddly intimate gestures. Yet the threat of danger is imposed within each tableau. Continuing with their examination of masculine interaction, the immediate target in creating Menace is the other member of Type A. However, as exhibited, the target is extended to the audience, allowing each viewer to interpret the depicted situation.

Though Type A’s photographic process utilizes contemporary technology, printing as photogravures connects the final print to photography’s late 19th and early 20th century history as a nascent popular medium. This painstakingly detailed process provides a singular beauty while promising a stable, archival object. Each print has within it close to 200 years of aesthetic history and authority. With this in mind, Menace presents the idea of male threat as something entrenched in history, something that has survived and will continue to exert its presence.

Numerous museums have collected work by Type A, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Israel Museum.

Menace represents an extension of the exhibition program Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art first established with Galina Kurlat’s Shadow Play. Each exhibition, in its own way, explores the figure in photography, challenging and enlarging definitions of what a figure in a picture looks like, how a portrait functions.