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France - Near and Far
Ralph Gibson Photographs

January 18 - April 17, 2005
Lowenfeld Exhibition Hall, 10th floor, Axinn Library


Ralph Gibson was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1939. Between 1956 and 1960 he served as a photographer's mate in the United States Navy and from 1960 to 1962 he studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. A working photographer since 1961, Gibson was an assistant to photographers Dorothea Lange (1961-62) and Robert Frank (1967-69). In 1969, Gibson moved to New York and founded Lustrum Press to control the reproduction of his works. His creative career was established with a trilogy of his works that he published in the books The Somnambulist in 1970, Deja-vu in 1973 and Days at Sea in 1974. Gibson has also published books by or on the works of other photographers including Robert Frank, Larry Clark and Mary Ellen Mark. He has had many solo exhibitions in United States museums as well as museums around the world, and is represented in numerous public museum collections.

Gibson has always been concerned with how to represent the three-dimensional world in his two-dimensional photographs. He has not been interested in creating narratives; rather, he isolates his subjects which exist as fragmented and abstracted realities. Whether black and white or in color, Gibson's architectural elements, body parts or landscape details have a visual elegance and an enhanced reality.

Gibson's numerous trips abroad over the past few decades have resulted in a large body of work celebrating France. France - Near and Far is a portfolio consisting of 10 C-print photographs taken between 1990 and 1992 in France and the French Antilles Islands.

The portfolio was donated to the Museum by Susan and Steven Ball.

Eleanor Rait, Curator of Collections

France - Near and Far, Ralph Gibson Photographs

  • Wine Bottle, Riberac, 1990

  • Architecture and Awning, Nice, 1992


  • Converging Voices: Gender and Identity
  • Women in Contrast