Richard Learoyd: Presences

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition of photographs by the British artist Richard Learoyd. The works will be on view from May 5 to June 25, 2011.

Learoyd’s minutely detailed, large-scale color portraits do not look like other photographs. Made with a giant camera comprised of two rooms, Learoyd’s subject (generally a person, though sometimes an object such as a mirror) occupies one room containing a powerful light source, while the photographic paper occupies the adjacent camera obscura (“dark room” in Latin). Connecting the two rooms is a lens set within a bellows—an accordion-like contraption dating from the medium’s first century.

Learoyd’s pictures are unique direct-positive images produced without a negative. The photographs on view are images made by the direct record of light reflecting from the subject to the photographic paper, yielding portraits of unsettling psychological intensity.

Learoyd was born in 1966 in Lancashire, England
, and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He lives and works in London. His photographs have recently been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

The exhibition Presences is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog published by Fraenkel Gallery.