John Gossage

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John Gossage (born 1946) is an American photographer, noted for his artist's books and other publications using his photographs to explore under-recognised elements of the urban environment such as abandoned tracts of land, debris and garbage, and graffiti, and themes of surveillance, memory and the relationship between architecture and power.

Life and career[edit]

Gossage was born in Staten Island, New York City in 1946 and at an early age became interested in photography, leaving school at 16 and taking private instruction from Lisette Model, Alexey Brodovich and Bruce Davidson. He later moved to Washington, D.C. to study, and subsequently received a grant from the Washington Gallery of Modern Art which allowed him to remain in the city and refine his photographic technique. He has shown his photographs in solo and group exhibitions since 1963 and his work is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

His publications include Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2004), which draws from some 10,000 images taken during more than twenty years of study of the city, The Romance Industry (2002), Empire (2000), There and Gone (1997), The Things That Animals Care About (1988), Stadt des Schwarz, LAMF: Three Days in Berlin 1987 (1987), and Hey Fuckface! (1984), a study of some of the Environmental Protection Agency-listed hazardous waste sites in and near Staten Island and Syracuse, New York. Several of these books are published in unusual formats, such as a wooden box with sliding Plexiglas panel, or with a newspaper clipping dustcover. Gossage collaborated with then-wife Terri Weifenbach on the photographic book Snake Eyes (2002). After a number of years with Nazraeli Press his usual publisher is now Loosestrife Editions and Steidl.

He has taught at the University of Maryland, College Park and curated several photographic exhibitions. He lives and works in Washington, D.C.

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