photographic vision and the modern print
31 July – 7 November2004
Friday 13 August 2004
Printed light: photographic vision and the modern print will have a media launch in the Orde Poynton Gallery at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra at 11.30am on Friday 13 August.
Photography was invented in the 1840s and ever since then people have marvelled at its ability to capture life in all its manifest detail. This exhibition examines how photographic material, and, in particular, how photographic ‘ways of seeing’, have influenced 20th-century artists who also work in the print medium.
At one end of the spectrum are works that one would not, at first glance, associate with photography at all, such as Jennifer Bartlett’s Untitled I, II, III [Graceland] 1979, which is built around a series of grids, while a t the other end of the spectrum are Peter Blake’s ‘borrowed’ 19th century postcard erotica presented as found ‘objects’
Eduardo Paolozzi, one of the artists at the forefront of English Pop art in the 1960s, took photographic imagery that he had collected over a 20-year period from a variety of popular ‘low-art’ sources – magazines, films, posters, advertisements, sci-fi comics – to produce his now famous 45-piece work Bunk 1972.
Robert Rauschenberg’s Booster 1967 is in the tradition of a self-portrait, but in this case it is literally a portrait of the inner self: a life-size X-ray of Rauschenberg, naked but for his hob-nail boots that has been transferred to a lithographic stone.
Mark Henshaw , Curator, International, Prints, Drawings and Illustrated Books says, ‘Printed light documents, in part, the fertile intersection between photography in its pre-digital form and the modern print. Here is photorealism and social realism, the erotic and the macabre, still lifes and landscapes. There are personal histories and cultural histories. This exhibition goes some way to show how a number of 20th- century artists have used photography to celebrate, subvert and transform, photography’s image-making possibilities. And, with the dawning of the digital age, there is more, undoubtedly, to come.’