January 18 - February 26, 2012
The Robin Rice Gallery announces a solo exhibition of photography by Ted Adams. The opening reception will be held January 18th, 2012. The show runs through February 26th, 2012.
Ted Adams’ first solo show at the Robin Rice Gallery juxtaposes surrealism with the documentary art form. What differentiates Mr. Adams’ work from traditional photojournalism is his keen eye for capturing the irony in the events that unfold before our eyes. It is the found objects in everyday life to which Adams is most attuned. He creates a subtle mood and visual mystery that conveys meaning not only from the image itself but also through imagining what exists just beyond the frame.
"I see photography as a way of cropping the world—selectively taking things out of context—which often results in stripping the meaning out of the original subject matter, or at least making the image open to interpretation. It’s the opposite of traditional photojournalism whose intention is to create ‘narrative’ and context rather than discard them."
While he has exhibited artistic photography in a variety of genres, in the past five years he turned his artistic eye inward to reflect a more autobiographical tone. While some people compare his work to that of Robert Frank, Adams finds himself more and more influenced by Larry Clark whose career was built on pictures drawn from his own life and drug-addled friends rather than a specific documentary mission.
The unique presentation of this collection of twenty-three silver gelatin prints enhances the voyeuristic sensibility of Mr. Adams’ work. Each photograph is jewel box in size, measuring 4" x 6" to invite the viewer in to make an intimate appraisal. The craftsmanship of the wide, dark wood frames hearkens back to late 19th-century Shaker design—yet the aesthetic is boldly contemporary, providing a strong backdrop to draw the viewer’s gaze directly to the subject matter.
This artisanship extends to the printing where Adams exhibits his skills in traditional darkroom processes. He shoots mostly with Leica and Nikon 35mm film cameras, preferring the archival qualities of black and white film and primitive analog functionality.
In the invitational image, "Beyond" we see an abandoned building. The eye immediately is drawn to the structure’s one indication of life, a sign reading "Beyond" which glows like platinum in contrast to the forlorn setting. One has to wonder what goes on beyond the shut door. Yet the humor lies in the idea that anything in these surroundings could be in the superlative—beyond the gritty or merely mundane.
Adams’ sarcasm veils an artistic integrity. What seems happenstance and simple, a road sign, a graffiti ridden wall, or a bank of phones, belies the artists uncanny ability to see the interesting in the ordinary. In a second picture, "Solitary", we see the words "solitarily confined" sprawled across a wall. Just to the side of the wall stands a little girl. One might think of the solitary confinement in terms of a jail term or the graffiti an indictment on society. But the surprise lies with the child at play, seemingly free of any constraints at all.
Born in Louisville Kentucky, Adams spent most of his adult life in Philadelphia after having moved there to work as a professional darkroom printer. In addition to artistic and documentary photography, Adams works as a multi-media artist. He curates the online Abandoned Photo Museum and is Owner/Director of Southwark Gallery. He has participated in numerous solo and group shows in Philadelphia and New York, and internationally at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Ballarat Australia and Sala de Exposiciones Mariano Fuentes Lira, Cusco, Peru. Adams has been a part of the "Summertime" exhibit at the Robin Rice Gallery for the past six years. His work is also found in the permanent collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) and The Print Center in Philadelphia.
To view the exhibition, please visit http://www.robinricegallery.com.