Dances with Negatives
October 8, 2011 through January 7, 2012
© Jerry Uelsmann. All rights reserved.
Jerry Uelsmann, one of America's most important contemporary photographers, is known throughout the world for his dream-like scenes. Sometimes referred to as "the master of photomontage," his creations involve
hand printing of multiple negatives onto single sheets of paper.
For nearly a half-century now, Jerry Uelsmann has created an exquisitely detailed universe of his own devising, and allowed it to materialize gracefully onto gelatin silver paper. This exhibition will offer a fresh
look at Jerry's complex theater of the mind.
Photographer Ted Orland - the exhibition curator and longtime friend of
Uelsmann and his wife, Maggie Taylor - has assembled 55 images that he
says "resonate with Jerry's personality, his work ethic, his way of living and his
philosophy." Orland examined over a thousand original prints. His selections
concentrate on "the emotional content of the work, images that convey a sense
of tranquility, a softness that has endured through the process of creation."
"Standing next to Jerry in the darkroom, I witnessed how he starts with a seed of
an idea and then lets pieces and parts come together and evolve over the course
of perhaps ten to twelve prints," relates Orland. "It's a process of give and take,
letting something happen and then letting it suggest where it might go next."
According to Orland, "The richness and depth of Uelsmann's work derives in
no small measure from its remarkable internal consistency, allowing images the
artist made a half-century ago to fit seamlessly alongside those he created in
his darkroom last week. The recurring icons and forces at play in his universe
have, over time, become our guides – at different times mysterious or prophetic,
playful or ominous, but ultimately benign. Jerry Uelsmann has created a universe
complete unto itself, such that if someone were to ask, 'But was it really like that?
' the only logical answer would be, 'It is now.' "
In this exhibit, Orland hopes to capture the humanity involved in creating
Uelsmann's world – a reflection of a life well-lived, with many friends, many
travels, a home chocked with memorabilia and stories to go with every piece.
And so as counterpoint to the finished art on display, the exhibit will also include
informal snapshots of Uelsmann at work (and play) in his darkroom and studio,
as captured by Orland and CPA Trustee Rex Naden during their visit.
An exhibition catalog of
Dances with Negatives is available for purchase online at MagCloud or
at the opening reception – Members: $25; Non-Members: $30. Uelsmann's newest book, The Mind's Eye- 50 Years of Photography (Modernbook Editions, 290 pages),
also will be available for sale at the event and in the gallery.
The CPA thanks Tom and Ann Livermore for their sponsorship of this exhibition.
We had a grand time at Jerry Uelsmann's Lecture and Exhibition Opening on Saturday, October 8. This was our first event at the Sunset Center Theater-
which was a blessing as the crowd was more than expected. Jerry's lecture was informative and...quite entertaining!