photographic vision and the modern print
31 July – 7 November 2004
Eduardo Paolozzi 'I was a rich man's plaything' 1972 colour photo-screenprint from 15 screens; collage Collection of the National Gallery of Australia © Eduardo Paolozzi. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia click to enlarge
Photography was invented in the 1840s and ever since then people have marvelled at its ability to capture life in all its manifest detail. Such is photography’s supremacy in this regard that it has become unquestionably the dominant image-making form of the 20th century.
The exhibition Printed light is not, however, about photography in its pure form. What it seeks to do, instead, is to examine how photographic material, and, in particular, how photographic ‘ways of seeing’, have influenced 20th-century artists who also work in the print medium. Some artists have actively set out to use, manipulate, appropriate and/or subvert photographic imagery in their work. For others, the influence of photography has been more subtle, more tangential. Perhaps, for them, it’s the way in which photographic framing has conditioned a particular way of seeing.
At one end of the spectrum are works, such as Jennifer Bartlett’s Untitled I, II, III 1979, which one would not at first glance associate with photography at all, while at the other are the photo-realist works of Chuck Close and Richard Estes. And, as Printed Light demonstrates, there is much that is fascinating in between.