October 22 through December 5, 2009
Reception for the Artist, Thursday, October 22, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition of Ralph Gibson's iconic work. Presented in conjunction with the release of his book by Taschen, Nude: The Infinite Beauty of the Female Form, the exhibition showcases the style and artistry of a unique eye in the field of photography. The exhibition consists of over fifty black and white, silver gelatin photographs ranging from small, intimate nudes to mural-sized prints that closely examine the beauty, contrast, and vitality of his subjects.
Well known for his appreciation of the human landscape, Gibson's observation of the form and pleasure of the female shape has enraptured his audience for decades. "A photographer once said that beauty in women is endless. Perhaps it was I who said it. At least, art history indicates this to be so; the Willendorf Venus is said to date from 25,000 BC. I love photographing women and could say that the form of the female body is absolute and perfect."
"Gibson's image is never a pure, graphic sign: it is instead situated somewhere between realism and the abstract and it is here that lies his Art and his significance." Les Cahiers de la Photographie, 1988.
Gibson was born in Los Angeles where he grew up in the backlot of the Warner Brothers studios watching his father, an Assistant Director to Alfred Hitchcock. At 16, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he declared, "Someday I'm going to be a photographer!" For the next sixty years, he has shown himself to be more than just "a photographer" but a trendsetter, vocal advocate, and deeply influential presence in the art world. Working as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank, his apprenticeship lead to the exploration of form for which he became famous. Since the 1960's, he has worked from his New York studio. He has won fellowships from the NEA (1973 and 1975) and the John Simon Guggenhiem Memorial Foundation (1986), a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (daad) Exchange, Berlin (1977), a New York Creative Artists Public Service Grant (1977), and a Grande Medaille de la Ville d'Arles (1994). He was made an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government (1986) and awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland (1991). He has published several well-received books, including Somnambulist (1970) and most recently, Nude: The Infinite Beauty of the Female Form (2008) with Taschen books.
He currently divides his time between New York and France.