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PHOTOGRAPHY: Vintage to Contemporary No. 3

Installation detail, from L to R: Chuck Close, David Haxton, Barbara Kasten, Robert Cumming, William Wegman, Sandy Skoglund.

Maslow Gallery
Nov 09, 2012 - Nov 18, 2012

Both Marywood University and the University of Scranton are offering courses in the history of photography this semester and the professors teaching these courses requested an exhibition of photographic works from The Maslow Collection that would provide a relevant historical overview for their students. Note, in 2008 and 2010 we presented similar exhibitions for the History of Photography students from both universities.

This exhibition of photographic works covers a period from the 1930s to the 1980s. Vintage prints from the 1930s to the 1960s include iconic works by Bernice Abbott and Evelyn Hofer. The gelatin silver prints by Lee Friedlander, Hilla and Bernd Becher, and Mark Cohen represent a changing attitude to subject matter in the 1970s, as does Harry Callahan's color image from Morocco. The 1980s color photographs, mostly done in the studio, are by Barbara Kasten, Sandy Skoglund, Robert Cumming, William Wegman, David Haxton, and Herwig Kempinger. The later works are more experimental in terms of process, materials and subject matter. In addition, a black and white silver gelatin print by Jane Hammond (a recent addition to The Maslow Collection) is the result of composing an image from numerous sources that were processed through Photoshop, and then generating a film negative to make the photographic print. The photograph in its final form appears to be a straight-forward recording of an artist at work, though in fact it is a fiction supported by a careful collage technique. This image is meant to challenge our reception of the photographic image as ‘reality’.

Note: This semester I have chosen to keep Chuck Close’s Phil III in each gallery installation. In this way the visitor to each exhibition will better understand the multiple ‘readings’ possible of this iconic work. Here the source for the pulp paper print is an early black and white photograph that Close took of his friend Philip Glass. The ‘information’ in the photograph, based on using the grey scale in a most precise manner, was reproduced in the print.

This exhibition was designed and installed with the assistance of The Maslow Study Gallery intern, Katherine Camoni.

Installation detail, from L to R: William Wegman, Sandy Skoglund, Jane Hammond.

Installation detail, Berenice Abbott. 

Installation detail.

Installation detail, from L to R: Hilla and Bernd Becher, Mark Cohen (top and bottom), Harry Callahan.

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