This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (August 2018)
Burk Uzzle (burkuzzle.com) has spent his life as a professional photographer. Initially grounded in documentary photography when he was the youngest contract photographer hired by LIFE magazine at age 23, his work continues to reflect the human condition. For sixteen years during the 1970s and 1980s, he was an active contributor to the evolution of Magnum and served as its President in 1979 and 1980. While affiliated with the cooperative, he produced the iconic and symbolic image of Woodstock, helped us grasp an understanding of the assassination and funeral of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and powerfully projects comprehension of what it means to be an outsider - from Cambodian war refugees to disenfranchised populations without voice or agency to portraits of communities not identified on a roadmap.
His archive spans more than six decades and captures much of the history of analog and digital photography. His current bodies of work rest deep in issues of social justice. A dozen years ago, Uzzle returned to North Carolina and now lives and works in two century old industrial buildings located in downtown Wilson not far from where he was born. With the energy and determination of someone half his age, he wakes every morning at 5am, takes an hour to swiftly bike all over the town before the sun is up, and then gets to work. Disciplined, organized, and always open to ideas emboldened through keen intuition, Uzzle states with conviction that photography is his reason to breathe and what he sees is his muse.
2017 "Perceptions + Recognitions : African-Americans in Eastern North Carolina," Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville NC (Catalogue) 2016 "Burk Uzzle: American Chronicle," North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC 2016 "All About America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle," Ackland Art Museum UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC (Catalogue) 2016 "Burk Uzzle Retrospective," Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham NC 2015 "Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles," Steven Kasher Gallery, New York NY 2012 "Burned," Laurence Miller Gallery, New York NY 2011 "Burk Uzzle," Flanders Gallery, Raleigh NC 2010 "Martin Luther King, Jr.," Wilson Arts Council, Wilson NC 2009 "Woodstock," Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa FL 2009 "Woodstock 40th Anniversary," Laurence Miller Gallery, New York NY 2008 "Burk Uzzle Recent Work," Barton College, Wilson NC 2007 "Just Add Water: America in Color," Laurence Miller Gallery, New York NY 2006 "Burk Uzzle," Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles CA 2005 "A Family Named Spot," The Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach FL 2004 "Burk Uzzle," Laurence Miller Gallery, New York NY 2001 "America in the Seventies," Bodo Nieman Gallery, Berlin Germany 1998 "Daytona Bike Week," Gallery Contempo, St. Augustine FL 1996 "Correspondence Between Islands," Danforth Gallery, Portland ME 1994 "Burk Uzzle Recent Work," The Photography Gallery, Drew University, Madison NJ 1992 "A Progress Report on Civilization," The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk VA (Catalogue) 1985 "Burk Uzzle," 253 Gallery, Norfolk VA 1984 "All America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle," Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA 1983 "Burk Uzzle," The Photographers' Gallery, London England 1982 "Burk Uzzle," The Ffoto Gallery, Cardiff Wales 1982 "Burk Uzzle," Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool England 1980 "News from Cambodia," International Center of Photography, New York NY 1979 "Burk Uzzle," Gallerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris France 1979 "Burk Uzzle," Galerie Fiolet, Amsterdam Holland 1979 "Burk Uzzle," Witkin Gallery, New York NY 1979 "Burk Uzzle," Galerie Breitling, Berlin Germany 1977 "Burk Uzzle," Aperion Workshop, Traveling exhibition 1977 "Burk Uzzle," Columbia College, Chicago IL 1974 "Burk Uzzle," Dayton Art Institute, Dayton OH 1974 "Burk Uzzle," 831 Gallery, Birmingham MI 1973 "Burk Uzzle," University of Massachusetts Art Gallery, Boston MA 1971 "Burk Uzzle," Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL 1970 "Typically American," International Center of Photography, New York NY 1969 "Burk Uzzle," Riverside Museum, New York NY
Museum & Public Collections
- Ackland Art Museum, UNC Chapel Hill
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Arts Council of Great Britain
- Bibliotheque Nationale de France
- Cameron Art Museum
- Chrysler Museum of Art
- Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
- George Eastman House
- Greenville Museum of Art
- Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington at Seattle
- International Center of Photography NYC
- Library of Congress
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Museum of Modern Art
- Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University
- National Museum of Modern Art, Japan
- North Carolina Museum of Art
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art
- Smithsonian Institution
- Stedelijk Museum
- University of Texas
- Weatherspoon Museum
Books, Monographs, & Anthologies
- Perceptions and Recognitions: African-Americans of Eastern North Carolina. Greenville Museum of Art. 2017. ASIN B077H573S9.
- All About America. Ackland Art Museum. 2016.
- Just Add Water. Five Ties Publishing. 2007. p. 120. ISBN 978-0977719365.
- A Family Named Spot. Five Ties Publishing. 2006. p. 174. ISBN 978-0977719303.
- A Progress Report on Civilization. The Chrysler Museum. 1992. ISBN 978-0940744653.
- MON AMERIQUE (French). Contrejour. 1985. ISBN 978-2859490607.
- All American. Aperture. 1984. ISBN 978-0060083083.
- Koudelka, Josef; Uzzle, Burk; Bullock, Wynn (1976). Aperture Number 77. Aperture. p. 120. ASIN B0026C3Z9I.
- Landscapes. Magnum. 1973. p. 96. ISBN 978-0914122012.
- Burk Uzzle Official Website
- F11 and Be There a feature documentary film about Burk Uzzle by Director Jethro Waters.
- Burk Uzzle at Photography-Now.com
- Burk Uzzle on IMDb
- Remains photograph and supporting film directed by Jethro Waters of the toppled Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina.
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