TN: Nashville

“Yellowstone River”, 2005, archival pigment print, 44 x 63 in., © Jack Spencer.

“Yellowstone River”, 2005, archival pigment print, 44 x 63 in.,© Jack Spencer.

WHERE: Frist Center for the Visual Arts

WHEN: Opening Friday, July 12 and on view through October 12, 2013.

TITLE: Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface

BRIEF ABOUT: This Nashville-based photographer is known for the way in which he alters the surfaces of his photographs with techniques reminiscent of painting, yielding stunningly complex and mysterious images, the exhibition will feature 70 photographs spanning the artist’s career.

      “Spencer’s photographs are distinguished by a painter‟s sensibility,” says Chief Curator at the Frist Center Mark Scala. “His use of richly textured, softly-focused forms and toned surfaces add to the ambiguity and mystery of his photography, a medium often associated with realism and authenticity.”

     This first major museum exhibition will be presented in six sections organized by subject, theme and style: The works included in Portraits and Figures reveal Spencer’s capacity to define the psychological complexity of his subjects, who often occupy the periphery of society.

     Conversely, each person portrayed in Apparitions is disguised by a mask or face paint, subordinating individuality to an expression of cultural identity.

     To create his most recent body of work, Mythologies, Spencer painted fields of color and improvised marks onto the nude or semi-nude bodies of his models. He then photographed and often digitally altered the painted figures and their surroundings to impute a mysterious fictional narrative or primal context.

“Light Vessel”, 2012, archival pigment print, 31 x 41 in., © Jack Spencer.

“Light Vessel”, 2012, archival pigment print, 31 x 41 in., © Jack Spencer.

     Day into Night includes images of human presence made visible by ephemeral evidence; cast shadows, veiled bodies and blurred movement, often at dusk or dawn; symbolizing the

transitional nature of life.

     In This Land, richly hued scenes of the American west, Midwest and South were inspired by Spencer’s desire to explore the theme of national identity through the image of an open and unpopulated land.

     Blurring the distinction between figure and ground, proximity and distance, Color as Light includes coastal views in which the luminous, almost aqueous density of atmosphere merges land, trees, animals, and sky into a palpable gestalt; abstract landscapes of the mind’s eye.

MORE DETAILS: Call Maggie Carrigan at 615.744.3351 or see

About: Since the mid-1990s, Jack Spencer’s photographs have been included in group exhibitions in museums in the United States and abroad, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; the Columbia Museum of Art, Soth Carolina; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; and the Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt, Germany.

     He has had one-person exhibitions at numerous galleries around the country and abroad, including Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York; Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago; Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta; Stephen Clark Gallery, Austin; Cumberland Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee.; Galeria Filon, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and Image Gallery, Bologna, Italy.

     Spencer’s works are included in many public and private collections, including the Berkeley Museum Of Art,California; the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Calif.; Sir Elton John Photographic Collection; Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carlina; the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina; and Emory University, Atlanta.

Published by on June 2013. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section, Tennessee. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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