Date of Lecture: 1998-10-23
“I’ve always needed to make images that have a sense of revelation to the viewer, namely me.” – Adam Fuss
Adam Fuss is a British photographer who now lives and works out of New York. His work is very concept-driven and often involves a re-investigation of the early techniques of photography. Early on in his career he worked with pinhole photography and more recently he has been working with the photogram – the photographic process by which objects are placed directly on the light sensitive material, creating images with the light that is absorbed or reflected by the objects themselves. Although the process dates back to the beginnings of photography, Fuss is one of the first contemporary artists to attempt to re-invent the practice altogether. Fuss manages to avoid the tendency towards nostalgia that often characterize the reinvestigation of archaic techniques. His images are very contemporary, often large-scale cibachrome prints rendered in extremely vivid colours. Birds, butterflies, rabbits and other symbolic elements are central to his images that are sometimes highly poetic in their rendering of themes such as grief, memory, absence and love. At other times his images are more formal, using smoke, sand or water to create images that reference abstract expressionist painting in their use of line and pattern, yet maintain a visual relationship with their matter of origin.
Fuss’s work has been exhibited world wide, published in numerous magazines and is available in a self-titled monograph. His most recent retrospective was held in 2002 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has recently begun working with the Daguerreotype process and continues to make black and white photogram images.