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Joni Sternbach's "The Surfing Landscape"




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Saturday, 17 June 2023 to Saturday, 5 August 2023
Saturday, 17 June 2023 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Von Lintel Gallery is excited to announce our next exhibition “The Surfing Landscape”. This multimedia exhibit pairs large-scale tintypes, prints, and a new film by photographer Joni Sternbach. This is the gallery’s third solo exhibition with the artist, who will be present for the opening reception.

Joni Sternbach is renowned for her use of the wet plate collodion process, an early photographic technique dating back to the 19th century, in which a metal plate is coated with a silver salt solution, exposed in a large-format camera, and developed in a portable darkroom on the spot to produce an instant positive photograph, like the 1850’s version of a Polaroid. Sternbach is a master of this complex process, and the incredible clarity and size of her tintypes demonstrate her skill.

Sternbach's use of the tintype process works on many levels; it fosters the collaboration between her and her subjects and brings people together. The images possess a unique and timeless quality, which resonates with the rich history of surfing and its enduring appeal. Although not originally her goal, Sternbach quickly became fascinated with the surfers who she first saw as obstacles to her shots of the ocean. She has been following them and their practice all over the world since then.

"The Surfing Landscape” features an assortment of Sternbach’s rarely seen mammoth works (14x17 and 16x20 inches). There will also be a selection of her complex, multi-panel tintypes (10x20 and 14x33 inches). These large-scale tintype portraits of surfers capture the rugged and raw beauty of their athleticism, and the spirit of adventure that drives them. The images are powerful and evocative, and much like the historical process that Sternbach uses, her photographs evoke a timelessness that transports the viewer.

This exhibition also features Sternbach’s film entitled “Making Pictures”, a two-channel, experimental piece about her experience making wet plate collodion tintypes in the field. Shot with a Go-Pro camera strapped to her tripod leg, this nine minute film is presented as a meditation about process, people, time, and space. Inspired by the transcendental film movement, it takes its cues from Sternbach’s own slow style of photography.

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 held in many public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and the Peabody Essex Museum, among others.

For additional information or visual material please contact the gallery by email at

Venue ( Address ): 

2525 Michigan Avenue Unit A7, Santa Monica CA, 90404

Von Lintel Gallery , Los Angeles

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