Leica Gallery Los Angeles Unveils ‘Digital Color’ by Ralph Gibson


Vernissage from January 17 through February 24, 2019

Paying tribute to the milestone 80th birthday of renowned photographer Ralph Gibson, Digital Color will be presented by Leica Gallery Los Angeles through an exhibition and vernissage from January 17th, 2019 through February 24th, 2019. The exhibition will feature a series of captivating digital photographs taken by Gibson, who solely used a Leica Rangefinder and a 135mm Apo-Telyt-M lens to capture each image.

Born January 16, 1939, Gibson’s dedication to photography began in 1956 when he enlisted in the United States Navy and became a Photographer’s Mate Second Class. During this period, Gibson found his first success in photography by taking portraits of his ship’s officers, casting shadows and manipulating light for the first time. The portraits pleased the officers and established his presence on board. It was during this time that Gibson found the darkroom to act as a form of escape from his Navy life.

While continuing his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, Gibson was loaned a Leica Camera for the first time by photography department director, Paul Hassel, which exposed Gibson to the world of Leica photography. He then moved on to pursue his professional career as an assistant to well-known photojournalist Dorothea Lange and photographer Robert Frank.

Today, Gibson is most recognized for photos that present everyday objects in a surreal fashion. His first photography book, The Somnambulist, sparked his lifelong fascination with book-making, which led to his works being featured in many to follow. His photographs can be found in over 150 museum collections around the world and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.

Gibson spent 55 years in the darkroom before he was offered an opportunity to reinvent himself as a photographer by switching to a digital camera. When his Leica Monochrom arrived, he questioned whether he could abandon his earlier career for a new technology. However, upon using the camera, Gibson realized digital imaging could just as well reflect his personal vision and influence his future photography works, leading to his artistic personality today. Regarding the inspiration behind his Digital Color series, he shares, “The digital dialectic suggests that anything digital is compressed, and this applies equally to color. Saturation, hue and timbre serve to create an imagery unique and not very similar to analog film. For this reason, I welcome the idea of a new visual language; another system of control. Digital speaks in subtle ways, often producing an entirely different perspective.”

Roger Horn, President of Leica USA, notes, “It is with great honor that we present Ralph’s Digital Color exhibition at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles. We felt it was only fitting that we celebrate his outstanding photographic works as well as his deep loyalty to the Leica brand on this benchmark birthday.”

Released to coincide with his 80th birthday, Gibson’s new book, Self-Exposure, is an autobiography that touches on Gibson’s service in the Navy and his friendships with Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, and other renowned artists. The book premiered during Paris Photo on November 14th and at New York’s Strand Bookstore on November 20th. Leica Los Angeles’ Digital Color exhibit will officially launch the book in Los Angeles.

The Digital Color exhibition will be followed by a Master Workshop hosted by the Leica Akademie, where attendees can learn the art of bookmaking firsthand from the master himself. Digital Color by Ralph Gibson will be on display at Leica Gallery Los Angeles from January 17th, 2019 through February 24th, 2019. For more information about the exhibit or Leica Gallery Los Angeles, visit http://www.leicagalleryla.com.


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