“Ralph Gibson and Lustrum Press, 1970 —1985”
Closing reception for this exhibition and artist talk by Ralph Gibson on Friday, September 28 (exhibition continues through September 30th).
Reception at 5 p.m., lecture at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium at the Center for Creative Photography on the University of Arizona Campus. Call (520) 621-7968 for directions and parking instructions.
From the Center’s website:
“About the Exhibition
The exhibition “Ralph Gibson and Lustrum Press, 1970 — 1985” will be shown at the Center for Creative Photography from June through September, 2007. Ralph Gibson (b. 1939) is one of the pioneering figures in modern photography. Influenced as a young man by Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank, both of whom he assisted in the 1960s, Gibson’s personal aesthetic—high contrast, graphic impact, mysterious atmosphere—developed through his encounters with European film, literature, and music. The Lustrum Press, which he founded in New York in 1970, quickly made an impact with its beautiful and often provocative publications. Gibson’s own work appears in the influential trilogy The Somnambulist (1970), Deja-vu (1973), and Days at Sea (1974). Lustrum also published monographs dedicated to the photographs of then-unknown artists Larry Clark (Tulsa, 1971), Danny Seymour (A Loud Song, 1972), Mary Ellen Mark (Passport, 1974), and others. Gibson was most involved with Lustrum Press in the 1970s, and the publications of those years capture a turning point in photographic history, when the medium acquired unprecedented prominence in museums, the market, and popular culture.
The Center for Creative Photography holds Ralph Gibson’s archive, which includes documentation relating to Lustrum Press and to Gibson’s illustrious career. Gibson’s own work will be at the core of the present exhibition, supplemented with prints by other artists from Lustrum Press publications and with ephemera related to the books’ production. Gibson’s roles as artist and publisher sometimes overlapped in interesting ways: for example, the experience of seeing The Somnambulist printed on an offset press inspired him to overexpose and overdevelop his film so that he could achieve in the darkroom the same rich blacks produced by heavily inked lithographic plates.
Based in New York but working internationally, Gibson has always been much better known in Europe than in America, perhaps owing to the Surrealist overtones in his imagery. He has produced significant bodies of work relating to his experiences in France, Brazil, and other countries; and retrospective exhibitions have been held in Paris, Cologne, Geneva, Milan, and elsewhere. In 1986 the French government awarded Gibson the title Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. With the exhibition Ralph Gibson and Lustrum Press, 1970 — 1985, the Center for Creative Photography hopes to achieve two main objectives: to introduce Gibson’s work to new generations of students, and to educate the public about the history and importance of independent publishing in the field of fine-art photography.
About the Ralph Gibson Archive
The Center for Creative Photography’s Ralph Gibson Archive includes many hundreds of vintage and recent fine prints, as well as archival materials from 1959 to the present such as photographic materials, correspondence, biographical data, clippings, interviews, exhibition files, documentation related to published and unpublished books, and audio and video tapes. The Center presented Gibson’s early work in 1978 in an exhibition and in 1987 in issue number 24 of The Archive, its scholarly journal. Members of the public can make an appointment to study the archive in the Research Center by calling 520-621-6273.”