Released January 18, 2012
THE MIND'S EYE: 50 YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERRY UELSMANN ON VIEW FEBRUARY 11 - MAY 13, 2012
SALEM, MA -- Beautiful and surreal, funny and provocative, the photographs of Jerry Uelsmann are icons of American photo history. The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents the first retrospective of Uelsmann's work in over 30 years. The Mind's Eye: 50 Years of Photography by Jerry Uelsmann features 90 works spanning the artist's celebrated and wide-ranging career, with well-known works shown alongside never-before-seen recent images.
As a pioneer of contemporary photography and master of experimental darkroom technique, Uelsmann has continuously pushed the creative and technical boundaries of photography, revealing new visual possibilities and critical considerations for the medium. In the late 1950s, Uelsmann began experimenting with multiple enlargers and advanced masking, diffusing, burning and dodging techniques, to create imaginary images in the darkroom decades before the advent of Photoshop. Uelsmann's ingenious work references Surrealists like Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, and Man Ray, as well as Modern photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. He has spent his career advocating for the acceptance of experimental photography as an art form.
"For more than half a century, Uelsmann has challenged conventional ideas about what photography can and should do," said Phillip Prodger, exhibition curator and PEM's curator of photography. "Uelsmann's pictures provide a valuable touchstone for understanding new trends in photographic art. His ideas and example have become ever more relevant as photography embraces Photoshop and other computer technologies for altering and manipulating photographs."
The Mind's Eye presents works drawn from the artist's personal archive of vintage materials and, in addition to photographic prints, includes a selection of three-dimensional photographic sculptures, films, artist's books, albums and work prints to give viewers first-hand insight into Uelsmann's creative process and expressive range. Through experimental techniques, Uelsmann has explored universal themes of relationships, family, home and politics by creating unexpected and surprising juxtapositions.
"My visual quest is driven by a desire to create a universe capable of supporting feelings and ideas," said Jerry Uelsmann. "I am drawn to art that challenges one's sense of reality."
Born in Detroit in 1934, Uelsmann received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1957 and Master of Science and Master of Fine Arts degrees from Indiana University in 1960. He is recently retired from the faculty of the University of Florida, which he joined in 1960. Uelsmann received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1967 he had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
PRESS RECEPTION AND EXHIBITION TOUR
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2012 | 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Join us for a cocktail reception and exhibition tour of the galleries with the artist and PEM's curator of photography, Phillip Prodger. RSVP to Whitney Riepe by Thursday, February 2, 2012 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 978-745-9500 x3228.
OPENING DAY CELEBRATION
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012 | 11 AM - 4:30 PM
Celebrate opening day of The Mind's Eye with a day of activities inspired by the exhibition. Enjoy docent-led gallery tours, art making activities, film, and an artist presentation by Jerry Uelsmann. Details available at: http://www.pem.org/calendar.
The Mind's Eye: Photographs by Jerry Uelsmann, Modernbook Editions © 2010, Hardcover ($85), 296 pages, with text by Phillip Prodger and introduction by A.D. Coleman. Available at the PEM Shop, in person or online at: http://www.pemshop.com.
Support provided by the East India Marine Associates (EIMA) of the Peabody Essex Museum. The Mind's Eye: 50 Years of Photography by Jerry Uelsmann is part of PEM's Year of Photography, which is sponsored in part by WBUR, Boston's NPR news station, Hunt's Photo & Video, and Canon.
IMAGE CREDITS (TOP TO BOTTOM)
Apocalypse II, 1967, Jerry Uelsmann, Gelatin silver print, 10 3/4 x 13 5/8 in, ©Jerry Uelsmann.
Self-portrait, 2004, Jerry Uelsmann, Gelatin silver print, © Jerry Uelsmann.
ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
The Peabody Essex Museum presents art and culture from New England and around the world. The museum's collections are among the finest of their kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture (including four National Historic Landmark buildings) and outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, Maritime and Photography collections. In addition to its vast collections, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and a hands‐on education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200‐year‐old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.
HOURS: Open Tuesday‐Sunday and holiday Mondays, 10 am‐5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.
INFO: Call 866‐745‐1876 or visit our Web site at www.pem.org