The Digital Eye @ the Henry Art Gallery

30 Jun

The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age

July 9 – October 2, 2011

North Galleries

The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age

Technology has driven the art and science of photography since the invention of the medium in the early 19th century. Digital photography is the most recent development, and in many ways the most perplexing and provocative. New cameras, printing techniques, and software allow artists greater freedom than ever before to take photographs of the real world and to generate images from the imagination. At the same time, the capacity to seamlessly merge and morph pictorial elements has social, political, and legal implications. As a challenge to photography’s documentary nature and as a catalyst for creativity, digital photography has a profound impact on visual culture.

Artists have long promoted innovation, as visionaries and beta-testers of new technologies. Never has that been more true than now. Among the artists working with digital photography, some employ it as an aesthetic tool, others as a platform for investigating new areas of photographic practice. Some treat it as a vehicle for waging social or political critique; others look to it as a subject in and of itself.

This exhibition, drawn from public and private collections, will present the work of some of today’s most inventive artists who use digital photographic means. Among the artists included will be Paul Berger, Julie Blackmon, Nancy Burson, Sean Dack, Andreas Gursky, John Haddock, Isaac Layman, Loretta Lux, Scott McFarland, Roy McMakin, Jason Salavon, Jeff Wall, and Amir Zaki. The show will be curated by Henry Director, Sylvia Wolf, and is accompanied by her recent book The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age (Prestel Verlag, 2010).

Curated by Henry Director Sylvia Wolf with generous support from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.


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