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A PHOTOGRAPHIC TRIBUTE TO CLARENCE JOHN LAUGHLIN 10.15.15 - 12.10.15


Front Gallery: October 15 - December 6
Back Gallery: December 10 - February 14 (Partial Display)

Scott Edwards Gallery is pleased to present A Photographic Tribute to Clarence John Laughlin. Known as the Father of American Surrealist Photography, Clarence John Laughlin is a major inspiration and influencer on modern surrealist photography. This Exhibition features works by Clarence John Laughlin, Portraits of Clarence, as well as works by seven fine art photographers inspired by him. Artists includes Josephine Sacabo, Richard Sexton, Sandra Russell Clark, Anna Tomczak, Euphus Ruth, Meg Turner, & Bruce Schultz. Also included in the exhibition are several portraits of Clarence John Laughlin by photographers Barry Kaiser, John Lawrence, Nancy Moss, Owen Murphy and David Richmond

This exhibition is being done in conjunction with the new documentary by Gene Fredericks entitled The Phantasmagorical Clarence John Laughlin: An American Original. This documentary discusses the eccentric photographer’s personality and career. It contains some of the only known footage of Clarence in his Pontalba apartment, taken in 1977. Screenings of the film at Scott Edwards Gallery will be announced at a later date.

Clarence John Laughlin (1908 - 1985) was born in Lake Charles, LA and lived in New Orleans most of his life. He is mainly known for his book “Ghosts Along the Mississippi - The Magic of the Old Houses of Louisiana” (1948) containing haunting images of mostly lost Louisiana Plantations. He never graduated High School but was extremely educated and well spoken. By the end of his life , his book collection numbered 30,000. His love of literature is obvious in the titles and descriptions of his photograpahy. His work was rooted in symbolism and subtext: and Clarence was extremely specific about each piece’s meanings. He would use long and eloquent captions to describe every piece he ever showed. Clarence’s eccentric and often difficult personality would set him at odds with many collectors, curators and gallery owners over the entirety of his career. Four vintage pieces by Clarence John Laughlin will be available during this exhibition.

Joséphine Sacabo lives and works mostly in New Orleans where she has been strongly influenced by the unique ambience of the city. She is a native of Laredo, Texas, and was educated at Bard College, New York. Previous to coming to New Orleans, she lived and worked extensively in France and England. Her earlier work was in the photo-journalistic tradition, influenced by Robert Frank, Josef Koudelka, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She now works in a very subjective, introspective style and divides her time between New Orleans and Mexico She uses poetry as the genesis of her work and lists poets as her most important influences, among them Rilke, Baudelaire, Pedro Salinas, Vicente Huiobro, and Juan Rulfo, Mallarmé, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Josephine will be exhibiting 4 photogravures from different series that “in retrospect, have Clarence written all over them.”

Richard Sexton is a fine art and media photographer whose work has been published and exhibited worldwide.  His most recent book, Creole World, published in 2014 by The Historic New Orleans Collection, is the 13th book he has authored, co-authored, or photographed and is now in its 2nd printing. His work has been exhibited and is in the permanent holdings of Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection and Polk Museum of Art. His work is in the permanent holdings of New Orleans Museum of Art and LSU Museum of Art. He has had a solo exhibition at Walter Anderson Museum of Art.  In 2014 Richard Sexton received the Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He will be exhibiting 6 quadtone pigment prints.  

Sandra Russell Clark lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was Director of Photography at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans from 1980 to 1985.   In 1997 Louisiana State University Press published Ms. Clark’s book of photographs, Elysium, A Gathering of Souls, New Orleans Cemeteries.   Clark’s photographs are included in museum, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad including New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, and Museum of Fine Arts - Houston; among others.  She will be exhibiting 2 Pigment Prints from her Elysium series.  
Meg Turner and Courtney Webster are both New Orleans based Artists.  Their diptych “The Unseen Boxer" marks their first piece in an ongoing collaboration. Wishing to examine the history of photography as a medium through which heroism and strength have been linked primarily to white male representations of masculinity and strength, while women and women of color especially have been relegated to subservience or decoration; they seek to challenge this narrative by creating an alternate historical record of the unseen and unrecorded women of color, gender non-conforming women and images of black female heroism. They will be exhibiting two large scale photogravure prints made from 4 x 5 tintypes.

Euphus Ruth, Jr. has lived and worked in the Mississippi Delta for over 30 years. Since 2006 the majority of his work has been made using wooden view cameras with antique & modern lenses practicing the 19th century wet collodion process. In 2013, his work was included in Luna Press Publication’s Inventing Reality. He will be exhibiting 4 ambrotype plates.

Anna's Tomczak’s large format dye-infusion transfer photographs are widely exhibited and are in Museum, University, Private and Corporate Collections including: The Florida Gulf Coast Museum of Art, The Norton Museum of Art, The Polk Museum of Art, City of Orlando Public Art Collection, Deland Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Harn Museum of Art, UNCC Charlotte - The Cone Foundation, Sony Latin-America, McGraw-Hill, NYC and the Polaroid Corporate Art Collection, Waltham, MA. She will be exhibiting 3 original Polaroid dye transfer prints on water color paper.

Bruce Schultz has been making photographs for more than 40 years.  In 2007, as digital photography became the predominant means of making a picture, he chose to explore the early days of photography and learned the craft of making photographs using wet-plate collodion, a 19th Century technology best known for producing tintypes. In the past year he has also moved into making albumen prints from glass plate negatives; the most common way of making a photographic image in the 19th century. He will be exhibiting 1 albumen print, 1 tintype, and 5 silver gelatins.

Barry Kaiser has resided in New Orleans and documented its music and culture since 1971. He was a founding member of the New Orleans Photo Exchange with David Richmond, Owen Murphy and Joséphine Sacabo. His work is in the permanent collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection and many private collections. He teaches Photography at Metairie Park Country Day. He will be exhibiting two portraits of Clarence John Laughlin and one piece inspired by Clarence.

Owen Murphy is a freelance photographer living in his hometown of New Orleans who pursues personal documentary and portrait projects with income from commercial jobs. He founded the New Orleans Photo Alliance in 2006 to help rebuild the photography community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His work in the collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana State Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston as well as many private collections. His commercial work has been widely published in many museum catalogs and is the co-author of the book “Creoles of New Orleans:Gens de Couleur” , which contains his photographs of the neighborhood and people of the historic 7th Ward of New Orleans. In 1988, he received an Artist Fellowship in Media from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. He will be exhibiting 2 portraits of Clarence John Laughlin.

Nancy Moss was Clarence John Laughlin’s agent in the later years of his life. She will be showing 4 portraits of Clarence.

John Lawrence is the Director of Museum Programming at the Historic New Orleans Collection. He will be exhibiting one portrait of Clarence.

David Richmond was the founder and owner of the New Orleans Photo Exchange, a gallery specializing in selling New Orleans based photography. He is also known for printing and staging the Michael P. Smith Retrospective Exhibition at the 2003 New Orleans Jazz Festival. Pre-Katrina, he was the employer and mentor to Scott Edwards. He was a staff photographer for Gambit Weekly for many years and an accomplished commercial photographer. He will be displaying the figurehead image for this exhibition - a portrait of Clarence John Laughlin.

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