Joni Sternbach and Melissa Zexter: two-person exhibition

The photographs included in the new show at Kenise Barnes Fine Art were chosen for their qualities that bring them closer to the realm of painting and drawing than traditional to photography. Although both artists employ traditional photographic techniques to capture the images the result is closer to something handmade, not a mechanically reproduced image.


The surprising scale of Joni Sternbach’s mural size Ocean Portraits transcends the subject matter and the medium. These black and white ocean portraits are taken from the bluffs of long island’s east end. The water becomes an abstract liquid skin without references to land masses; the image of the water becomes painterly and ephemeral. This series of photographs are at once grand and intimate.


Ms. Sternbach’s work is included in both national and international collections such as the Harry Ransom Center for the Arts and Humanities at The university of Texas at Austin, The international Center of Photography in New York as well as the Bibliotheque National. Her work has been included in shows at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Akus Gallery at ECUS, Fotokina in Germany and at Julie Saul Gallery in New York. She has been the recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts grant as well as a Creative Artists Public Service grant. She has lectured and taught throughout her career. She currently teaches photography at New York University.