Ralph Eugene Meatyard: American Mystic

Featuring masked figures and experimental abstractions, the exhibition coincides with a new monograph by Alexander Nemerov.

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Ralph Eugene Meatyard: American Mystic from March 9 through May 6, 2017, featuring more than 40 works by this enigmatic and legendary photographer. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to view both iconic and lesser-known photographs by Meatyard alongside the artist’s notebooks and annotated volumes from his personal library. The exhibition coincides with the publication of a major new monograph on the artist by the esteemed art historian Alexander Nemerov.

American Mystic includes a number of photographs in which Meatyard cast family members and friends in central roles, often masked and enacting symbolic dramas, such as Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce #3, 1962.

Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce # 3, 1962
gelatin silver print, 13 x 10 inches (mount) [33.0 x 25.4 cm]

Meatyard also experimented with multiple exposures, motion blur, distortion, and other methods of abstraction, as in the blurred landscapes of his “Motion-Sound” images. In addition, American Mystic will present a group of shimmering photographs of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, which were featured in the 1971 book The Unforeseen Wilderness, accompanied by text by his friend Wendell Berry.

Untitled, 1963
gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches (sheet) [20.3 x 25.4 cm]

In the gallery’s accompanying publication Ralph Eugene Meatyard: American Mystic, Alexander Nemerov examines Meatyard’s creative process through a series of short texts paired with 48 of Meatyard’s photographs. The 100-page, fully illustrated hardcover book will be available at the gallery and at fraenkelgallery.com ($45). Fraenkel Gallery will host a reading and book signing with the author on Saturday, March 11, at 2pm.

Alexander Nemerov reads from “Ralph Eugene Meatyard: American Mystic”
Duration: 00:58:20 | Release Date: Mar 2017

Works on View

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