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Join Carl Chiarenza, Heidi Katz, and Gabriella Chiarenza for a short-format documentary interview on the act of Making a Picture.
Director, producer, editor: Steve Osemwenkhae
Story Producer: Gabriella Chiarenza
4-minute abridged version also available here
February 5 - June 20, 2021
Throughout his career, Carl Chiarenza (American, b. 1935) has demonstrated that photographs can provide much more than just documentary evidence. Rather than create straightforward records of the cast-off materials that appear before his camera, Chiarenza photographically transforms them into new and provocative images. His photographs often bear little resemblance to their actual subjects and instead suggest mysterious worlds that viewers are invited to explore.
This retrospective exhibition spans the Rochester-based artist’s entire career, beginning with early photographs Chiarenza made as an undergraduate student at Rochester Institute of Technology in the 1950s and concluding with a large selection of his most recent work in collage. The exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to follow the continuities and ruptures in Chiarenza’s artistic journey as his career enters its seventh decade.
This exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with text by curator Will Green and Keith Davis.
18 Yosef Rivlin Street
Carl Chiarenza has been an important presence in American photography since the time that I began making images. For me, with my background in landscape oriented work, many of his images evoke a landscape that was never was but might come into being at any moment. He calls these “Landscapes of the Mind”.
His abstract images are constructed from torn paper, pieces of things, collages that he makes, photographs and often discards, saving only the image. Carl said that he once aspired to make photographs of the land, but when he went outside to photograph, he came back only with mosquito bites. In 1979, he began working in the studio, where he has remained ever since. Carl stated about his work, “what I’m doing is responding to things the way composers respond to sound.” His photographs are silent music. Chiarenza’s prints are in all the great public collections and have been exhibited widely; it is a privilege to have them here at Vision.
“Each episode in the Symphony,” Stravinsky wrote, “is linked in my imagination with a specific cinematographic impression of the war. But the Symphony is not programmatic. Composers combine notes—that is all. How and in what form the things of this world are impressed upon their music is not for them to say.”