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Political Abstraction

Political Abstraction

Ralph Gibson, an iconic American fine art photographer whose books Somnambulist, Deja-vu, and Days at Sea are considered classics of the twentieth-century photo-book genre, presents new work that explores the search for visual identity in a digital age

Lustrum Press
September 2015
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88 pages | 8.5 x 12.5 | 40 duotones |

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Political Abstraction is the name of a recent series of color and black-and-white photographic diptychs by acclaimed fine art photographer Ralph Gibson. In these works, the viewer experiences several simultaneous visual motions dealing with the migration of color and shape across seemingly simple imagery. The series is born out of a response to the search for visual identity in a digital age. Gibson has devoted his pursuit to the idea that the viewer of the work is the actual subject of the piece itself. Thus, the photographs are relative but not restricted to the intention of the subject or the photographer. These works have been made during travels in eight countries, yet they remain remarkably unified in their perception. In this way, Gibson’s visual signature remains intact throughout the entire series.


New York, New York

Gibson’s photography has won numerous honors, including the Lucie Award for lifetime achievement, the French Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Photographic Society of Japan “150 Years of Photography” Award, and grants and fellowships from Eastman Kodak, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been collected by some 150 museums internationally, among them the Museum of Modern Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; National Gallery of Art; J. P. Getty Museum; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; International Center of Photography; Center for Creative Photography; and the Art Institute of Chicago.


“Gibson is offering a new approach to the visual experience, inviting the viewer to join us on his journey. Gibson... gives us deep, philosophical ideas to consider while looking at the work.”
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