Bryan Graf and Ethan Greenbaum at East Hampton's Halsey Mckay

The evolving nature of photography and mechanical reproduction
“Garden”, left, by Bryan Graf. Right, Ethan Greenbaum’s 3-D powder prints

Halsey Mckay Gallery in East Hampton has two shows of note currently on view, addressing the evolving nature of photography and mechanical reproduction. Bryan Graf balances nostalgia and critical distance in his examination of historical approaches and more abstract uses of the medium, while Ethan Greenbaum plays with familiar imagery and takes it to an abstracted realm, with vacuum-formed photographs and loose 3-D prints of common objects.

Although Mr. Greenbaum’s show, “Chambers,” is installed in the smaller upstairs gallery, it has no lack of works. The larger photographs appear to take their inspiration from the roads and streets, sometimes derived from actual painted traffic lines, as in “Peak,” sometimes less discernible.

His images are printed on vacuumed-formed plastic, which he molds around the kind of ceiling tiles used in institutional settings. The support allows the artist some play with depth, as he can make further marks in its soft surface. There are only three of these works in the show, but they are quite arresting.

“Peak” is bold and graphic with its rich black center, broken yellow borders on three sides, and red paint used to indicate to utilities or other road workers what structural networks lie beneath the asphalt. It is hard to know what photographed object “Channel” came from, but it looks like a window. Its pretty, powdery-blue central panel is framed in white, green, and yellow, and the plastic surface gives it a watery, glassy feeling.

The glossier surfaces here provide a striking contrast with the artist’s duller 3-D powder prints of objects he scanned at a Home Depot store. They hang on the wall in a grid more familiar from the way paintings are hung in a salon or academy. Instead of portrait heads or sweeping vistas, the assembled objects mimic recognizable industrial and construction materials — doors, marble, cardboard boxes, artificial floor and wall surfaces, grates, and packing material.

The loosely scanned objects show evidence of the artist’s hand. Rather than a more faithful attempt at recreating something, his gestural approach results in drippy corners and unfinished cross-sections, something much more personal and creative.

The text he overlays on the surfaces in various depths and heights may or may not have something to do with the original object. Portions of a Pink Panther logo on insulation end up on what could have been a scan of packing material. Embossed text pushes up from a scan of marble. Electrical outlets are set into copied stone and brick wall surfaces. Vents are overlaid with the truncated text of Tyvek and DuPont.

Still in its early days, 3-D printing offers intriguing creative possibilities. Here, Mr. Greenbaum demonstrates the power of coloring outside the lines. By adding the commercial logos to the work, he flirts with Pop imagery while subverting it. He takes Pop’s usual high degree of finish and artistic distance and makes it personal and idiosyncratic, using impulses both high and low.

Mr. Graf has a reverence and understanding of photography that is historically rooted, critically restrained, and yet visually engaging. His show, “Moving Across the Interior,” incorporates impulses and influences from personal experience, abstraction, and dissociation.

Taking cues from old family photos and the disruption of perception brought on by a snowstorm, he employs photography in a way that feels old-fashioned and yet very modern. A happy dog in a camper, a series of imperfectly exposed snapshot-sized pictures of a wooded path, an abstract view of the sun (which might be the moon), a vase of flowers on a table are all part of his more traditional approach, much of which stems from the discovery of an old family movie of footage taken at a lake in the 1950s.

They are interspersed with photograms made with light-sensitive paper, their underlying imagery often obscured by overlying colorful abstracted shapes and screens, which create undulating yet translucent surfaces. They morph with the representational works as they progress through the gallery, until the photograph “In the Trees” seems to meld the two themes together.

A few outliers, such as the “Studio Flowers” photograph and the “Diamond Cloak” inkjet print, are not that jarringly different. Yet they seem to be here more in order to sum up all of Mr. Graf’s recent work than to fit in to a prevailing theme. With such a strong showing of the other works, it might have been more satisfying to have kept the exhibition more cohesive. That said, they are strong and engaging images.

The show will remain on view through Monday.