American Masters

The Silver Print

July 18 - October 17, 2015

Exhibition: American Masters: The Silver Print

Dates: July 18 - October 17, 2015

Opening: Saturday, July 18, 2015 4-7pm

Peter Fetterman Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of significant modern American photographs

by artists who were also acclaimed printers in the history of photography. Comprised of original, signed prints

from the gallery’s preeminent collection, the exhibition features works by Ansel Adams, Paul Caponigro, Jeffrey Conley, David

Plowden, John Szarkowski, George Tice, Jerry Uelsmann, and Don Worth. Works in the exhibition

span the later 20th Century and include Americana scenes, rural life, classical landscapes and botanicals. The

exhibition aims to showcase the increasingly rare art form of traditional darkroom printing, the practice of which

these American photographic icons utilized to realize the full expressive potential of their medium.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) famously said, “the negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print

the performance.” Few statements in the history of photography have so simply expressed the importance and

unique qualities of the print as the final realization of the artist’s intent. The hand-made photographic print, still

an adolescent in the history of fine art mediums, is sculpted by darkroom techniques and only rarely mastered

through countless hours of experimentation and skilled devotion. The aesthetic fruits of their labor, the subtle

variations and rich tonalities of each unique print, are what set these darkroom gems apart from the more easily

replicated contemporary processes and further establishes their significance among more historical mediums of

fine art. These rare masters, and the techniques themselves, are an increasingly endangered species as digital

processes and the use of computer produced prints continue to overshadow more traditional methods among

contemporary photographers.

Exhibited works include rare silver gelatin prints by renowned American printers such as Sierra landscapes

by Ansel Adams, delicate still lives and nature scenes by Paul Caponigro, and the inventive photomontages

of Jerry Uelsmann. Wonderfully composed images of life on the farm by David Plowden and famed MoMA

New York curator John Szarkowski are accompanied by the classic Midwestern studies of George Tice and the

luscious botanicals of Don Worth. While each photograph on view exhibits all of the visual and compositional

qualities inherent in a strong photograph, they truly stand out due to the exquisite printing at the hand of these

American masters.