January 16, 1939 |
Los Angeles, California
|Spouse(s)||Mary Jane Marcasiano|
Ralph Gibson (born January 16, 1939) is an American art photographer best known for his photographic books. His images often incorporate fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition.
Early life and education
Gibson enlisted in the United States Navy in 1956 and became a Photographers Mate studying photography until 1960. Gibson then continued his photography studies at the San Francisco Art Institute between 1960 - 1962. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange from 1961 to 1962 and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films.
Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. In 1969 Gibson moved to New York, where he formed Lustrum Press in order to exert control over the reproduction of his work. Lustrum Press also published Larry Clark's Tulsa (1971). To date he has produced over 40 monographs, current projects being State of the Axe published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and NUDE by Taschen (2009). His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions. He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years.
Asked by the New York Times for his main sources of inspiration, Gibson recommended what he considered to be five seminal works: Eugene Atget's Vision of Paris, Walker Evans's American Photographs, Henri Cartier-Bresson's Decisive Moment, Robert Frank's The Americans and Alexey Brodovitch's Ballet.
In the summer 2016, on the occasion of the opening of the Galerie Thierry Bigaignon, Ralph Gibson presented an all-new series of photographs entitled "Vertical Horizon", in a compelling departure from the black-and-white images for which he is celebrated. Indeed, seventeen years after the retrospective dedicated to his work at Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, and five years after his last exhibition in the French capital, Ralph Gibson returned to the city with a selection of 12 never-before-seen large-format color prints.
Publications by Gibson (selected)
- The somnambulist : photographs. 1970. ISBN 978 0912810102. Part 1 of a trilogy.
- Deja-Vu: Second in the Black Trilogy. 1973. ISBN 978 0912810065. Part 2 of a trilogy.
- Days at Sea. ISBN 978 0912810157. 1974. Part 3 of a trilogy.
- Syntax. ISBN 978 0912810393. 1983.
- Tropism. 1987. ISBN 978 0893812553.
- L'Anonyme. 1987. ISBN 978 0893812492.
- L'Histoire de France. 1991. ISBN 978 0893814717. Introduction by Marguerite Duras.
- Light strings : impressions of the guitar. 2004. ISBN 978 0811843249. With Andy Summers.
- State of the Axe: Guitar Masters in Photographs and Words. 2008. ISBN 978 0300142112. Foreword by Anne Wilkes Tucker; Preface by Les Paul.
Gibson's work is held in the following collections:
- Museum of Modern Art.
- Whitney Museum of American Art.
- International Center of Photography.
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas.
- Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
- Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
- 1973: National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
- 1975: National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
- 1977: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Berlin.
- 1977: New York State Council on the Arts (C.A.P.S.) fellowship.
- 1985: Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
- 1983: His book Syntax (1983) received a mention for the Rencontres d'Arles Book Award.
- 1986: National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.
- 1986: Decorated as an Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
- 1988: Leica Medal of Excellence Award.
- 1989: "150 Years of Photography" Award, Photographic Society of Japan.
- 1994: Grande Medaille de la Ville d'Arles.
- 2007: Lucie Award for lifetime achievement in Fine Art.
- 1991: Honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland.
- 1998: Honorary doctorate from the Ohio Wesleyan University.
- 2005: Appointed Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
- Rencontres d'Arles festival presented his work in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1989 and 1994.
- "Photographers on Seeing: Ralph Gibson". Popular Photography. April 1981. p. 86.
- Ralph Gibson Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.
- Andy Grundberg (April 10, 1983), Photography View; Why Some Art Retains Its Emotional Impact New York Times.
- John Durniak (July 21, 1985), Photography Books That Instruct And Inspire New York Times.
- Kerry Pieri (July 22, 2013), Exclusive: Watch Bottega Veneta's Ralph Gibson Lensed Fall Campaign Film Harper's Bazaar.
- Ralph Gibson Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Arizona.
- "ralph gibson". Lucie Foundation. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- Buck, Joan Juliet (December 10, 2010). "Full House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
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