Sarah Pollman is an arts writer based in Boston, MA. She specializes in contemporary fine art, and has produced essays for online and print journals, and artist monographs. 

Mikhael Antone

Introduction to Sense of Place by Mikhael Antone

Excerpt: Kodak introduced the snapshot, allowing us to record our lives, and in the process, create images that could continue to haunt us. The 1960s and ‘70s introduced a certain kind of documentary photography, whereby “truth” is reflected backwards into the lens. But Antone's images are neither snapshot nor document. Rather, they represent constructions of one individual’s perceptions…..

C.R.I.T. Volume 4

Introduction to Camera Records in Time, Volume 4

Excerpt: Sometimes, looking at photographs gives me the sensation of drowning. Meaning pulls apart like the frayed rubber of an elastic band, seeming to separate but then snapping together deftly to show no signs of being stretched. Reality fissures and splits when it is documented. The camera records, but the photographer makes notations….

On Permanence

Exhibition essay and interview for John Steck Jr. for Exhibition Catalog with the Hallway Gallery.

Pictures of You echoes the tragedy we all feel when a loved one is reduced to a simple box: of pictures, of clothes, of their ultimate absence from our lives ....

Big, Red & Shiny

Sarah has been a contributor to the arts journal Big, Red & Shiny

Landing at Zero 
Big, Red & Shiny, Volume 2, Issue 10

Excerpt: Bruce Myren’s The Fortieth Parallel is a project of western depiction. Rooted in history, it takes cues from historic survey projects and their subsequent rephotographic cousins, Ed Ruscha’s explorations of buildings on Sunset Strip and the New Topographers’ unromantic views of the west. It is an exploration of how to picture the land when the land has already been pictured: a conversation with the past designed to teach us about our present….

"El Anatsui: New Worlds" at the Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art 

Big, Red & Shiny, Volume 2, Issue 19

Excerpt: By using detritus that alludes to this history, the artist is in dialogue with a past riddled with slave trade and abuse. The cultural tensions that arise from colonialism express themselves in the sculptures through competing graphic shapes that are folded into and on top of each other. Sometimes, they are woven directly together Each aluminum scrap is bound to another aluminum scrap. Flattened and twisted, their shapes and meanings have been transformed, but not erased ….

1914: Magnus Plessen at the Rose Art Museum
Big, Red & Shiny, December, 9, 2014

Excerpt: Portraiture has always sought to represent its subjects as lifelike as possible, here purposely subverting itself to cover political wounds and return faces to a static representation of what they 'ought' to be. Moreover, our identities are as much constructed by invisible lines, drawn by our societies to delineate what we will and will not look at, as by the images we actually see. 

Art New England

Sarah has been a contributor to the arts journal Art New England

Art New EnglandVolume 36, Issue 5

Excerpt: Deriving from the artist’s commercially trained background at the New England School of Photography, the text references the glowing neon of advertising signs and the flickering of television ads. In each instance, the language traces both contemporary and historical discriminatory thought patterns, setting up an uncomfortable dichotomy between the anonymity of the portrait sitters, whom look just like anyone you might meet on the street, and the perniciousness of language that most of us do not pause long enough to consider....

The Shifting Meaning of Pictures
Art New EnglandVolume 37, Issue 1

Excerpt: Photographs surround us. They live inside our handheld telephones and tablets; they are disseminated in perpetuity across social media; they demand our attention in advertisements. In our contemporary world, photography is at an apex where its sheer ubiquity has rendered it invisible. Paper snapshots of the past are shuttled into shoeboxes in favor of digital codes that represent images on screens, which likewise get shuffled past us into file folders and our computer’s caches. Today, digital reigns.

Ain't Bad Magazine

Sarah has been a contributor to the arts journal Ain't Bad

Michael Powers
Ain't Bad Magazine, December 5, 2012

Excerpt: Moving between portraits, still-lives and landscapes, cascading light functions as a unifying element. Tracing the blades of grass in a field and the curving neck of a slaughtered duck, the use of light borrows from the aesthetics of Dutch genre painting, chronicling the everyday.

Noritaka Minami
Ain't Bad Magazine, January 9, 2013

Excerpt: While the building awaits an uncertain fate, Noritaka Minami documents it with his large format camera. This tool provides a static, scientific and academic experience of looking and analyzing. Coupled with careful framing, the photographs minimize the appearance of the artist and reveal thoughtful combinations of images that function as a document of this structure.

Lisa Emaleh
Ain't Bad Magazine, March 13, 2013

Excerpt: This is a method rooted in history: cumbersome and difficult, it passed out of favor with the invention of film. Emaleh returns to her roots, both geographically as a native of South Florida and metaphorically as a photographer, in order to resurrect a dying ecosystem and photographic methodology. The resultant images show a deep love and admiration for a strange and beautiful environment born out of a desire for preservation.

Case Studies

A collaboration with Jim Dow for the November 26, 2012 Colloquium No Dust in the Digital Archive? at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The various iterations of Allie Mae Borroughs reveal little about the photographs themselves. Instead they demarcate a range of methodologies of collection, reproduction, curation and appropriation of imagery from a variety of archive sources…

Using Format