Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oliver Gagliani

When asked why art is important, he said, "Because it's the only thing that teaches you how to feel. Without that, you haven't got anything."

"Attic, Nevada," 1972

"Piano, Austin, Nevada," 1972

"Brick Wall with Snow, Gold Hill, Nevada," 1973

"Diamond, Bodega Bay, California," 1968

"House, Plumas Eureka S.P., California," 1962

"White Door," 1973
All  photographs posted with kind permission of The Oliver Gagliani Estate 

Gallery 1855 to Host Latest Exhibition of Oliver Gagliani’s Photography:

Gallery 1855
Davis Cemetery
820 Pole Line Road
Davis, CA, 95618

Dates:  May 1 to May 31, 2011
Opening Reception - Sunday May 8 (Mother’s Day), 2011 from 1PM to 4 PM.

Oliver Gagliani is a well known artist amongst artists, so far ahead of his time that it will be up to another generation to place him within the continuum of art history. We here at Gallery 1855 are grateful for the special opportunity to exhibit some of Gagliani’s work during the month of May. Rather than a full retrospective, we have chosen to exhibit a collection of his pieces with one consistent vision, one overarching characteristic: the artist’s demand that the viewer participate. Oliver Gagliani believed that art was not art until the viewer made it so. We at Gallery 1855 invite you to come be the bridge between the artist’s vision and art itself.

You are warmly invited to the free open house and reception on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. The work may also be viewed Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM, between May 1st and May 31st. Please take advantage of this special opportunity.

Oliver Gagliani Biography reposted with permission from The Weston Gallery:

Oliver Gagliani (1917-2002) was an American photographer, a master of large format photography, darkroom technique, and the Zone System.

Upon seeing a retrospective of Paul Strand's work in 1945 at the San Francisco Museum of Art, he was convinced that photography could be considered fine art. Mostly self-taught, he is best known for his beautiful and haunting black and white photographs of ghost towns of the southwest.

Born in Placerville, California, Oliver studied under and worked with some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century including, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Paul Caponigro, the Westons, Paul Strand, and many others. He loved sharing his knowledge and in his later years conducted photographic workshops in Virginia City, Nevada.

“Oliver Gagliani: Scores of Abstraction at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art,” Thursday, October 25, 2007, Santa Barbara Independent by Heather Jeno reposted with permission:

Before Photoshop and other digital media programs opened up the world of synthesized enhancement, photographers relied on framing, composition, and riveting subject matter to deliver the desired image. Among the many master photographers of the pre-digital age, Oliver Gagliani possessed a particularly preternatural ability to produce complex, imaginary landscapes that to the modern eye appear as if they must be digitally enhanced. In fact, Gagliani was a purist of the straight photography he learned as a journalistic and commercial photographer, and he achieved his abstract effects through simple methods of exposure and printing.

Gagliani’s work is demanding because he requires us to reverse our typical methods of observation, forcing us first to “see” his compositions as a series of shapes, textures, and tones rather than as identifiable subjects. Through his imaginative lens, objects appear in new ways, and we are forced to reconsider and reevaluate the world around us as a landscape of unclaimed possibility.

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