Cross-Cut: Paintings of Damian Stamer and Photographs from the Collection of Jim and Jane Finch

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For Immediate Release, contact:   John Bloedorn or Kathryn DeMarco, 286-4837 (
Contact us for press-quality photographs.

Photographs of the Opening Reception for Cross-Cut are on Flickr. Photographs by William Rogers

Cross Cut web size“Cross-Cut:   Paintings by Damian Stamer
and Photographs from the Finch Collection”
Open through July 12th at CAG

Durham— “Cross-Cut: Paintings by Damian Stamer and Photographs from the Finch Collection”  brings together examples of vintage photographs from the collection of Jim and Jane Finch with the contemporary paintings of Damian Stamer to explore the cross currents within both media–the photographic past pre-figuring the artistic present, the present expanding upon the past.

Craven Allen Gallery owner John Bloedorn brought the artist and collectors together for the show.  “Damian was exploring photographic imagery in his paintings. When I saw works from the Finch collection in the “Light Sensitive” photography exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University,  I was intrigued with the idea of  juxtaposing the two visions together.”  Stamer and Jim Finch have been discussing and exploring each other’s works for months.  Says Stamer, “It’s about a democratic love of images. Jim’s collection is so vast and fascinating that his near obsession with looking and compiling imagery is immediately evident. Although my work is more concise in terms of subject matter, I think my love of a wide range of imagery, from photo-realism to abstraction, comes across in my work as well.”  Ultimately it will be up to the viewer to make their own connections between the the artworks on display.

The exhibition opens with a reception from 5 to 7 pm on Saturday, May 3rd, and continues through July 12th.

Craven Allen Gallery is located at 1106 1/2 Broad Street in Durham.  Gallery Hours at 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.  For more information, please call the gallery at 919-286-4837.

Damian Stamer

Artist’s Statement

I keep returning to the places of my past over and over again,even though I never quite know exactly what I’m looking for. There is a comfort in familiarity, a sense of guardianship of childhood haunts. But darker stories also soak this soil, and my ruins are pregnant with secrets. Time passes slowly as things fall apart. Painting is the only way I know how to describe such a place, which exists more in my mind than here on earth.

About Damian Stamer

Damian Stamer focuses on participating in the international conversation of contemporary art.  His work examines the landscape he explored as a child in rural North Carolina.  Damian’s paintings have been exhibited extensively in the U.S. and abroad. His recent solo exhibitions were held at schultz contemporary, Berlin, Germany, Freight + Volume Gallery, New York, NY and The Center for the Study of the American South, Chapel Hill, NC.  Recent group exhibitions include the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Ackland Art Museum.  Damian and his work have been featured in Modern Painters magazine, Endeavors magazine, New American Paintings magazine, and the German Art magazine.  His research on museum volunteerism was published in The Journal of Heritage Tourism. Damian received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Jacob K. Javits fellow in 2013 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University as a National Merit scholar in 2007, where he studied with Craven Allen artist Beverly McIver. He also studied at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts as a Fulbright grantee, and the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany as a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar.  In addition to Cross-Cut at Craven Allen Gallery, Damian will be showing concurrently at Flanders Gallery in Raleigh with large-scale works for the exhibition “Rummage”, opening May 2nd. Damian lives and works in Durham, North Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.

About the Collection of Jim and Jane Finch

The collection of Jim and Jane Finch represents passion filtered through chance over an extended period of time.  Over 30 years of attention to all things photographic has brought together examples fine art photography, anonymous vernacular images, vintage studio work, photo-documentary studies and mug-shots: From art galleries to flea-markets, from daguerreotypes to digital.  Several photographs in the collection were featured in the recent photography exhibition Light Sensitive at the Nasher Musuem at Duke University.

Playhouse, oil on panel, 48 x 72 by Damian Stamer
Patrick Rd. 9, oil on panel, 30 x 40 by Damian Stamer
Aerial reconnaissance photo:  10 August 1945, Kumamoto, Kyusha, Japan.  Silver gelatin:  9 x 9 Photograph,  Finch Collection
Detail, hand-tinted photograph of a woman, early 20th c, unknown photographer, 14 x 20,  Finch Collection