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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact:Jan Wenzel, 401-874-2116

URI exhibition by Carl Chiarenza

Prominent photographer to speak at Kingston campus

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 21, 2003 -- Carl Chiarenza, prominent American photographer and art historian, will speak at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus on Nov. 13 and highlight both of these talents. His lecture coincides with a powerful retrospective exhibition of his work. The lecture will be held in the Cherry Auditorium of the Chester H. Kirk Center for Advanced Technology at 3 p.m.. The exhibit runs Nov. 4 through Jan. 31 in the Photography Gallery of URI’s Fine Arts Center. Both are free and open to the public.

Judith Tolnick, director of the Galleries, chose a specific portion of Chiarenza’s work during his formative years - the late 1950s through the 1970s - charting Chiarenza’s exciting maturation as a photographer. This period of time links his deepest historical connections to the late Aaron Siskind, an internationally known photographer who taught at Rhode Island School of Design from 1971 through 1976.

As an artist, Chiarenza was propelled by his aesthetic engagement with Siskind. As an art historian, Chiarenza authored the award-winning biography entitled Aaron Siskind: Pleasures and Terrors.

Chiarenza’s vintage photographs to be exhibited are increasingly abstract, personal statements. They chart his nuanced transformation from documenting details of observable life on a small scale to interpreting suggestive sensations from the visible world with growing confidence and mastery. The latter photographs to be shown are constructions of light, shadow and shapes organized by Chiarenza's increasingly discriminating eye. The evolution of an accomplished and distinctive black and white printing technique also will be remarkably evident.

Born in Rochester, N.Y. in 1935, Chiarenza was educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Harvard. He spent 30 years in Boston where he became chairman of Boston University’s Art History Department and where he established his reputation in teaching and practice. He is currently the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor Emeritus in Art History and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Rochester.

Considered to belong to the second generation of major American photographers, Chiarenza’s work has been exhibited in more than 70 solo exhibitions, including major shows at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and 200 invitational group exhibitions. He has lectured and taught workshops at more than 90 institutions since 1966.

Chiarenza’s work is represented in depth in two books: Chiarenza: Landscapes of the Mind (David R. Godine, Boston 1988) and Evocations: Carl Chiarenza (Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2002).

URI’s Photography Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Due to state and academic holidays, the Gallery will be closed from Nov. 26 through 30 and Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 and open by appointment for the period of Jan. 2 through 12.

Chiarenza's lecture, co-sponsored by URI’s Fine Arts Center Galleries, Honors Program, Visiting Scholars Committee and Department of Art, was conceived in tandem with the RISD Museum of Art's exhibit of Siskind’s pioneering 1940s work as a tribute to the artist in his centennial birth year celebrations. The date of the URI lecture --Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.-- is timed to complement to RISD’s opening reception that same evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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Page last revised Wednesday, October 22, 2003 .