Latest News & Exhibitions

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Career Retrospective  |  George Eastman House


Join us on a virtual tour of a 2021 exhibition at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY. This career-spanning retrospective begins with early photographs Chiarenza made IN high school in the 1950s and concludes with a large selection of his most recent work in collage.

An audio tour accompanies the exhibition, available in a playlist or via links placed on the walls throughout the virtual exhibition. An exhibition catalog is also available.

Chiarenza: Complete Works Now Available Online

A collection of Chiarenza's complete works is now viewable on the web. Organized by decade and format, the collection provides visitors an opportunity to take in Chiarenza's evolution as an artist over 60+ years of picture making.


Photographs that are no longer available for purchase are consolidated in a separate web gallery.


See Complete Works in the menu at right.

Chiarenza's Visual Archive Installed at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Carl Chiarenza is pleased to announce his visual archive has been donated to be installed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

Joint Exhibition: Carl Chiarenza and Avery Danziger

Through This Lens Gallery

303 E. Chapel Hill Street

Durham, NC 27701


October 21, 2022 - November 15, 2023  


Exhibition of collages by Carl Chiarenza and and photographs by Avery Danziger.



Carl Chiarenza at Piedmont Arts

Piedmont Arts

215 Starling Avenue

Martinsville, Virginia 24112


October 23, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

On loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


Sponsored by Jill and Jay Dickens, Anne and Eric Smith, Barbara and Guy Stanley, King's Grant, Books and Crannies and Lynwood Artists


Opening Reception October 22, 2021

5:30 - 7:30pm


Born to Italian immigrant parents and raised in Rochester, New York, Chiarenza’s interest in photography developed early in his childhood. From 1953 to 1957, Chiarenza studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology under the direction of Minor White and Ralph Hattersley. Since the late 1960s, Chiarenza has been a leading figure in a movement that seeks to expand the conceptual boundaries of photography. Chiarenza’s photographs have been included in more than 80 solo and 250 group exhibitions since 1957. His black-and-white photographs, which often contain elements of collage, have continued to challenge notions of landscape, abstraction, visitor perspective, and the very medium of photography itself.


Chiarenza is inspired by both the beauty of and human connections to landscapes, but has been continuously dissatisfied with his outdoor nature photographs. In acknowledging that traditional depictions of landscapes in paintings are constructed, he began to approach his photographs as abstract and emotional constructions that allow us to examine nature in relation to the self.


The key characteristic that came to dominate Chiarenza’s style was nyctophilia, or a preference for and comfort in darkness. His photographs do not offer familiar faces or landscapes; there is no evident cultural or psychological framework for the viewer to build their response. Rather, the lack of specificity and sense of timelessness reminds us that all photographs are constructions of reality that produce various interpretations relative to each viewer. Chiarenza’s work invites individual reflection by forcing us to examine the subliminal workings of the mind. In these photographs, nothing is absolute, leaving all realities subject to each observer.


This exhibition is curated by VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. These works were all a generous gift of the artist.




“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.”