Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Light As Subject: The Making of Abstract Photography Open Access

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In the last few decades, abstract photography has forced photographers and viewers alike to look at an old medium through a new lens, namely a cameraless one. Light As Subject explores the trends and re-emergence of abstract photography through the contemporary cameraless photographs of Wolfgang Tillmans, James Welling, Garry Fabian Miller and Gordon Douglas Ball. All veteran photographers experienced in traditional documentary style, this exhibit will highlight the artists' innovative techniques in and out of the darkroom: how their abstract processes differ from traditional steps, while specifically highlighting their interest in light, color, time and nature. In addition to discussing the photographer's backgrounds, the exhibit will explore the medium's past with abstraction through early photographers, drawing visual comparisons between abstract photographs and painting, while also offering the visitor an opportunity to participate in darkroom demonstrations. Light As Subject will be featured in the newly constructed Resnick Pavilion, designed by architect Renzo Piano, at LACMA in Los Angeles, California. The Resnick Pavilion opens the gallery space to northern light with its saw-tooth roof skylights, enveloping the visitors in the subject that the photographers respect so greatly: light.

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