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.
New Monograph by LensWork
with text by Bill Johnson
65 images, 72 pages
Book dimensions: 9" wide by 8" tall
In this volume, we are delighted to bring attention to Carl Chiarenza’s important 1988 monograph, Landscapes of the Mind. This museum-quality hardbound is now an expensive collectible that is difficult to find. Chiarenza’s images, however, are still as captivating and mesmerizing as they were in his 1988 publication. If you’ve not seen his book, perhaps the images in this LensWork Monograph will explain why we are so motivated to introduce Chiarenza to those who might not be acquainted with his creative vision — which, by the way, continues. Many of the images in this LensWork Monograph are new, and demonstrate Chiarenza’s evolving vision and his ongoing explorations of landscapes of his mind.
Interview with Charles Giuliano
August 7, 2019
During graduate study at Boston University photographer Carl Chiarenza was a professor, mentor and friend. We spoke at length about how JFK and the Vietnam War nudged him into studying art history. At Harvard he was the first American to write a dissertation on photography. It was a biography and critical study of then living American icon Aaron Siskind. Now retired from the University of Rochester he continues to create new work.
THURSDAY JUNE 13, 2019 — SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
Featured artists include:
A unique opportunity to discover the extraordinary artistic and scientific creativity of Polaroid photography. At the intersection of art and technology, the exhibition presents the original works of some 100 of the most celebrated international artists of the 20th century along with the cameras they used.The Polaroid, both an image and a wonderful tool, was invented by Edwin Land in 1947. It remains, despite the decline of the company, associated in the collective imagination with innovation, efficiency and leisure.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts proudly announces the upcoming exhibition of works by photographer Carl Chiarenza.
May 17 – November 12, 2019
VMFA Photography Gallery
200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220
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.
This free exhibition is curated by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Executive Director and CEO Alex Nyerges.
“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is incredibly grateful to Carl Chiarenza for his generous gift of works to the museum,” says Nyerges. “I am honored to curate the first Chiarenza exhibition at VMFA, and hope that these twenty-two phenomenal works will offer museum members and visitors an opportunity for a deeper understanding and fresh perspective of the limitless world of photography.”
April 5 - May 10, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 5, 6-9pm
First Friday: May 3, 6-9pm Admission: $2/Free for members
Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) will host the multi-faceted collage exhibition Cut & Paste. This exhibition will bring together collage-related work by a range of established artists, emerging artists, art groups, and collectives from across the United States and Internationally.
Exhibition of works by Carl Chiarenza & Roger Bruce
June 11 - August 11, 2018
James E. Booth Hall
Rochester, NY 14623
Saturday, June 23, 2018
4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Carl Chiarenza and Roger Bruce share a deep interest in the history and aesthetics of photography. Carl is a scholar, educator, and an established artist of major reputation. And it was only five years ago that Roger began to make photographs in earnest. Roger will tell you that he is a student and admirer of Carl’s work: “It is so pure. He’s an artist who makes images using photography’s most elemental assets.” And for Roger, after 45 years working in organizations that care for or interpret photographs, he was keen to be a “born again” image maker – but this time using the surprisingly precise yet fluid tools of digital production. Here in Interior/Exterior we see clearly contrasting work -- bound together in shared views and mutual respect.
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Group Exhibition including work by Carl Chiarenza
June 2 - SEPTEMBER 23, 2018
University of Michigan Museum of Art [UMMA]
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor 48109-1354
See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography brings together a group of images that are doubly framed—once by the camera lens and again by the border of a mirror or window. By refracting and distorting, revealing and concealing, these reflective and transparent surfaces both draw attention to the photographer’s efforts to frame the world and expose the contingent nature of reality. Highlights from the exhibition include works by Eugène Atget, Carl Chiarenza, Robert Doisneau, Elliott Erwitt, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Joanne Leonard, Danny Lyon, and Joel Meyerowitz. By extending the limits of perception, these witty and provocative works invite us to see [through to] new visual possibilities.
University of Buffalo, NY
February 3 - March 31, 2018
University of Buffalo, NY
One Jackson Place, Buffalo, NY 14214
February 3 - March 31, 2018
Opening Reception February 3, 2018, 6-8pm
Artists include John Cage, Sam Francis, Victor Vasarely, Roberto Matta, Bruce Connor, Jean Dubuffet, Philip Pavia, Robert Rauschenberg, Antoni Tapies, and others.
November 19, 2017
1101 Clover Street
November 19, 2017. Reception at 12 noon with three other area artists.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Fort Worth, Texas
June - September, 2017
Organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis/New York/Paris/Lausanne, in collaboration
with the MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA, and the WestLicht Museum for Photography, Vienna. Exhibition will travel to the Museum für Künst und Gewerbe, Hamburg and the McCord Museum.
Visit the exhibition website for more information.
Accompanying book The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology (William A. Ewing and Barbara Hitchcock, Editors) is available for sale.
WEATHERSPOON ART MUSEUM
October 6, 2016 - January 29, 2017
Except from book review published on Berkshire Fine Arts:
"Even though Evocations was published some fourteen years ago it is fresh, stunning, and remarkable. The inscription of to a gonzo from a gonzo (paraphrased) was deeply moving.
"It has encouraged me to think in what sense we share the sobriquet of gonzology.
"On many levels I have regarded [Chiarenza] as a rock-steady, grounding influence on my own peripatetic, far flung, disorienting odyssey of a life in the arts. There has always been something reassuring about his paternalistic scolding, when called for, and mentoring encouragement to follow my own muse."
Rochester Connections: Works from the Gerald Mead Collection
4 November 2016 – 20 November 2016
Rochester Institute of Technology
100 College Avenue
(Downtown near Village Gate)
Rochester, New York 14607
This survey exhibition consists of over 40 artworks in all media by Western New York artists selected from the substantial art collection of Gerald Mead, and focuses on artists with current and historical ties to the Rochester community, whether current residents or with connections to RIT, Visual Studies Workshop, the George Eastman Museum, Nazareth College and more. The selection of work is a testament to Mead’s extensive passion for the art communities of Western New York, and to Rochester’s place within it.
22 June 2016 – 5 February 2017
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
101 S. Columbia Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
A series of three small-scale exhibitions using works from the Ackland’s permanent collection, Politics As Usual examines ways in which artists engage with the power structures of their times. Whether their stance is documentary, activist, or revisionist, the artists included demonstrate that concerns of the political have long been, and continue to be, fertile ground for art making.
Work from Chiarenza's "Peace Warriors" series is featured in this group exhibition.
May 25 – July 2, 2016
Alan Klotz Gallery
740 West End Avenue, Suite 52 | New York, NY 10025
Carl Chiarenza is a photographic renaissance man. He is first and foremost a terrifically inventive, and endlessly curious maker of photographic images. Garry Winogrand was fond of saying, when asked why he shot a particular scene, that "I wanted to see what that looked like photographed". There's a lot packed into that little zinger, about photography, representation, transformation, and the object that is the resulting photograph. Although it isn't always obvious, Carl is really a concrete kind of guy. He makes, and works from collages that he constructs from this and that, sometimes literally from garbage, and torn scraps. The act of photographing these collages, stimulates the artist's mind, first, while constructing them, then, while transforming them into a new object, the photograph, which refers grudgingly back to the objects of which they are reflections, (Chiarenza says he does not keep the collages. He throws them away... ashes to ashes, as it were), but now they are something else, something "other". They have become vessels containing wonder, and mystery. Einstein said, "One of the most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious,.... It is the source of all true science and art. He who can no longer pause to wonder is as good as dead." Chiarenza doesn't just pause there... he lives there!
New Photography Acquisitions
February 9 – May 29, 2016
The Harry Ransom Center's photography collection is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive, and it is continually growing. Look Inside introduces nearly 200 of the Center's newest acquisitions, tracing photography from its unprecedented post-war expansion to its central position in contemporary art.
Look Inside features groundbreaking photographs by Carl Chiarenza, Thomas F. Barrow, Lee Friedlander, Betty Hahn, and Robert F. Heinecken, contemporary investigations into the medium by Marco Breuer, John Chiara, Alison Rossiter, and Penelope Umbrico, and extended documentary projects by Alejandro Cartagena, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Louie Palu, and Alec Soth.
Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Main Level, East Gallery
August 28 through December 12, 2015
Attachment is a thematic collaboration among KAM curators and draws from most areas of the museum’s permanent collection along with a selective number of loans. Organized under five themes—appendages, supports, shadow bodies, accumulations, and refusals—the exhibition examines critical scenes of attachment to encompass material, affective, bodily, psychoanalytic, cultural, political, and institutional frames of reference.
Exhibiting artists include: Berenice Abbott, Conrad Bakker, Hans Bellmer, Louise Bourgeois, Michael Ray Charles, Carl Chiarenza, Willie Cole, Isabelle Cornaro, Walker Evans, Vernon Fisher, Frank Gallo, Jess, Vera Klement, Annette Lemieux, Danny Lyon, Bea Nettles, Melissa Pokorny, Fritz Scholder, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Hedda Sterne, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, and Purvis Young; along with selections from the museum’s African, Asian, ancient Peruvian, and decorative arts collections, including Marcel Proust’s 18th-century settee.
Fitchburg State Univeristy
Fitchburg, MA 21420
A selection of 40 photographs from the Fitchburg Art Museum collection, including four by Chiarenza. The exhibition will focus mainly on work by photographers and teachers closely connected to New England.
September 3, 2015, 6pm
George Eastman House
900 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
Chiarenza will lecture on the subject of the master's involvement in the field of photography over a 60+ year career.
100 College Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
December 4 - 31, 2014
Spectrum Gallery is offering a Holiday Season Retrospective of its 2014 exhibitions: 36 pieces including paintings, mono-prints, digital and silver-halide prints in color and black and white by
Patrick Cain, Carl Chiarenza, William DuBois, William Edwards, Stephan Gersh, Alice Gold, Steve Malloy-Desormeaux, Lana Pejovic, Sabra Richards, and Alan Singer.
Main Street Arts
Exhibition Dates: September 6–November 1, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Thursday, 11a.m.–6p.m. and Friday/Saturday, 11a.m.–7p.m.
An exhibition examining abstraction from 5 different points of view. Paintings and photographs by Carl Chiarenza, Karen Sardisco, Sarah Sutton, Patricia Wilder, and Bradley Butler
(gallery director at Main Street Arts).
More information at: www.mainstreetartsgallery.com
New and recent collages, paintings and photographs by Carl Chiarenza, Lisa Bradley, Bruno Chalifour, David W. Haas
February 6 – March 16, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday February 6, 6-9pm
Artists’ Talk: Saturday, February 8 @ 1pm
First Fridays: February 7 & March 7, 6-10pm
Rochester Contemporary Art Center is pleased to announce Makers & Mentors, a new exhibition celebrating the artwork and influence of one of the region’s most well-known and accomplished artists: Carl Chiarenza. In addition to his successful career as an exhibiting artist, Chiarenza taught Art History and has mentored many other artists. Joining Chiarenza in Makers & Mentors are three accomplished artists who have been influenced by Chiarenza in different ways: Lisa Bradley (New York), Bruno Chalifour (Rochester), David Haas (Allentown, PA).
The exhibition will premier Chiarenza’s new series of one-of-a-kind collages. In a generous statement of support for RoCo, Chiarenza will offer his new works at reduced prices and all proceeds will benefit The Future Fund, The Art Center’s first-ever Capital Campaign.
January 9, 2014
"[Chiarenza's] approach to making art has been as austere, acerbic, abstract and minimalist as his understated, wry and whimsical persona... That might be the open sesame approach to decoding the work and this latest body of abstract collages with cubist elements. There are titles that refer to giants of both jazz and classical music from Basie and Dizzy to Bach and Stravinsky...
"Given the titles one might look long and hard to unlock the connection other than a whimsical reference. It is better than "Untitled" but not really more helpful. Just what is it about Dizzy that makes it Dizzy-like? Just what is Dizziness in purely graphic and pictorial terms? One reflects on Kandinsky who gave musical terms to his abstract compositions and found equivalence between musical scales and their chromatic colors.
"Once again the work is as daunting as approaching the enigma of the man itself. One can never really know but it is challenging to chip away at his daunting, generic block of marble. Like the neo Platonism of Michelangelo we strive to liberate the tormented figure embedded in the stone...
"What I find and relate to in the work is an epic inner struggle. The images evoke a prison of the soul and psyche from which we are never truly liberated. But the effort forms the detritus of great art."
by Lisa Tiffin
"'What’s most special about his work is that it is distinctive,' says Memorial Art Gallery director Grant Holcomb. 'When you see a Chiarenza, you immediately know it.'"
"These new collages are currently featured in Rochester Contemporary Art Center’s Makers & Mentors show. 'Our mission is to show works not seen in Rochester before,' says Bleu Cease, director of RoCo.
"Cease adds that each year the show features a significant, regional, late-career artists along with artwork from people whom the artist has impacted in some way.
"'There’s an integrity and a poetry to Chiarenza’s work, and it comes out in the other artists,' Holcomb says.
"As for his take on it, Chiarenza explains, 'I started doing this for myself and my friends. I was fortunate that people responded and connected.'”
by Jonathan Everitt
"A photograph of you is not you. It is, in fact, an illusion. That simple viewpoint is perhaps the cornerstone of famed photographer Carl Chiarenza's body of work—and his role as a mentor to other artists.
"'It's not unreasonable for people who are interested in photography to accept what has been broadcast since the 1830s, which is that the photograph captures reality, actuality,' Carl says. 'From my point of view, it never did that. Every photograph is an abstraction.'"
November 11 through December 19, 2013
Jamestown Community College
525 Falconer Street, Jamestown NY 14701
(located on the second floor of the Arts and Sciences Center on JCC’s Jamestown Campus)
This exhibition chronicles the evolution of the artist’s photography, exploring how his tightly framed, documentary-style images from the 1960s and 70s present a vocabulary of abstraction that would be further developed in his ongoing series of photographed collages, he started in the 1979, constructed from scrap materials. The exhibition will also chart Chiarenza’s move from working primarily with single photographs to the production of sequential images in order to expand on concepts of photographic time and space.
This exhibition is organized and curated by Buffalo-based artist and photography historian Robert Hirsch www.lightresearch.net
The exhibition, lecture and reception are made possible by support from JCC, JCC Faculty Student Association, the Katherine Jackson Carnahan Endowment for the Humanities and the JCC Foundation.
Write up by on Transmutations Exhibit by Patricia Briggs, director of galleries and curator of exhibitions at The Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College in New York State.
October 5-6, 2013, Room 108
We will be exhibiting our usual mix of vintage and contemporary photographs, just take a look for yourself...
Saturday at 11am Alan will be moderating a panel "On Collecting Photography, Advice from the Experts" with Sarah Kennel, Associate Photography Curator of the National Gallery, and two private DC area collectors. We encourage you to join discussion as it is free and open to the public.
"Chiarenza's images are rife with stark chiaroscuro and a rich scale of silvers set against a void, hinting at moonscapes or landscapes painted by moonlight. What the artist accomplishes by catching light in the crinkles and folds of layered cast-off materials is astounding."
"Though renowned photographer Carl Chiarenza creates abstract works that are purposefully open to viewers' interpretations, the crystallized emotional experience of the artist is present in his works and resonates powerfully within each image."
Aug 30, 2013 - Jan 19, 2014
107 West Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico
An inventive artist who has consistently pushed the boundaries of photography, Joyce Neimanas has also been influential as a teacher, primarily at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and more recently at the University of New Mexico. At the forefront in adopting digital photography, she is also known for addressing women’s issues in her work, particularly sexuality and aging. This rich and varied career is represented at the museum in one of the foremost collections of Neimanas’ prints, ranging in date from 1976 to 2009.
Illuminating that body of work is a selection from her personal collection of prints, photographs, sculpture, and mixed-media pieces by family, friends, colleagues, and students, which she donated in 2010-2012. These works reflect the artist’s appetite for adventurous work and unusual materials as well as offering a glimpse of her interconnections with a broad community of artists including Patty Carroll,
Carl Chiarenza, Andrew Crooks, Robert Heinecken, and Floris Neusüss, among others.
Two additional pieces from this collection are on view in the adjacent exhibition, Collecting is Is Curiosity/Inquiry.
September 7 – October 12, 2013
Concurrent Artist Receptions: September 7, from 5 - 8 PM
100 College Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
176 Anderson Avenue, Suite 303
Rochester, NY 14607
t 585.232.6030 x 23
Spectrum Gallery and AXOM Gallery are pleased to present this dual exhibition of photographic works by master photographer Carl Chiarenza. These critically acclaimed black and white images will be on display at Spectrum and AXOM Galleries both located in the Neighborhood of the Arts.
This dual exhibition is a celebration of Carl’s 78th birthday, born September 5th 1935 he is referring to this show as his “Home-Boy Birthday Celebration”. In the spirit of this celebration, Chiarenza is offering a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to purchase his work at half off gallery pricing for the month of September.
May 4 - June 22, 2013
San Carlos Street at 9th Avenue
Carmel, CA, 93921
Curator: Brooks Jensen
This exhibition consists of nineteen different folios including collections by David Grant Best, Carl Chiarenza, Chuck Davis, Mitch Dobrowner, Robert Hecht, Brooks Jensen, Kim Kauffman,
Chuck Kimmerle, Don Kirby, Stu Levy, Harold Ross, Camille Seaman, Mark Singles, Hans Strand, Peter Tonningsen, and Huntington Witherill. Also incorporated in the exhibition are several
chapbooks for hands-on viewing. In addition, many unique keepsakes will be displayed. Beyond enjoying the art of photography, this exhibition is aimed at inspiring new ways to consider when
Not every photographic project or image needs to be presented on the wall.“In fact,”says Brooks Jensen, editor of LensWork and curator of this exhibition,“I often wonder if weʼd see this presentation nearly so often if Alfred Stieglitz hadnʼt copied the gallery presentation of paintings. Stieglitz hoped to increase photographyʼs stature in the art world in those early days by mimicking the use of frames and the gallery wall. If, however, we decide to look for alternatives and break from framed prints on the wall, we ﬁnd a world of creative possibilities.”
In this exhibition, we present samples of folios, chapbooks, and keepsakes from the LensWork Special Editions collection and from Brooks Jensenʼs personal work. Working with the photographers theyʼve published in LensWork, the editors collaborate with photographers in the spirit of the Ansel Adams Special Editions to present work produced under the approval of the artists, but not as artist-made original artwork. This allows the LensWork Special Editions to maintain the highest form of reproduction and image ﬁdelity but at an affordable,“real people”pricing structure. LensWork has been producing Special Editions since 1998 and worked with dozens of photographers to bring their vision to within affordable reach of people who love ﬁne art photography.
Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchburg, MA, Spring 2013
A group exhibition featuring the work of Carl Chiarenza among an historic collection of photographic works.
Transmutation: Photographic Works by Carl Chiarenza will chronicle the evolution of the artist’s photography, exploring how his tightly framed, documentary-style images from the 1960s and 70s present a vocabulary of abstraction that would be further developed in his ongoing series of photographed collages, started in the 1979, constructed from scrap materials. The exhibition will also chart Chiarenza’s move from working primarily with single photographs to the production of sequential images in order to expand on concepts of photographic time and space.
Curated by Buffalo-based artist and photography historian Robert Hirsch.
A catalog with reproductions of images and text accompanies the exhibition. This catalog is available for $20.00 from the Anderson Gallery, University at Buffalo.
Carl Chiarenza, "Remembering Gary Metz," pp. 93-100; and "Carl Chiarenza, in Conversation with Gary Metz, July 1, 1994, Amherst, MA," pp. 117-123, in:
Salvatore Mancini and Alan Metnick, eds., Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint, Photographs by Gary Metz; 1st edition, Shadow Imaging, 2012.
Anderson Gallery, University of Buffalo
November 2012 - February 2013
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog with text by Robert Hirsch.
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
March 10 - June 24, 2012
From over 1400 photographs submitted, juror Carl Chiarenza chose forty photographs for the gallery exhibition, plus an additional thirty-five photographs for display in the "Online Gallery Annex: on the PhotoPlace Gallery website. All selected works will be reproduced in a full-color exhibition catalog available for purchase from Blurb Books.