INVITATIONAL SOLO EXHIBITION -


Larry Schwarm


“Early Work - Late Work”


Lecture:

Thursday, February 25, 5:30 p.m.


Opening Reception:

Friday, February 26,

7:00 - 10:00 p.m.





FEBRUARY 26 - MARCH 19

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EARLY WORK - LATE WORK

Nationally acclaimed Kansas photographer Larry Schwarm has been photographing the landscape for over thirty years, and in this invitational solo exhibition, Schwarm compares his original inspiration of early black and white prints with his recent large scale color images for which he is known. This comparison includes a series of images capturing the dramatic prairie fires that sweep across the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas each spring, along with his a look back to his first images of the landscape from the 1970’s. Photography has the remarkable power to impress into memory a distillation of a particular segment of time. The desire to hold memories of how a moment looks, smells, and feels, led Schwarm to become a photographer.


Schwarm has a prize-winning book, "On Fire", published by Duke University as the recipient of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize. In the introduction to the book, one of America's preeminent photographers, Robert Adams, writes: “Larry Schwarm’s photographs of fire on the prairie are so compelling that I cannot imagine any later photographer trying to do better. His pictures convince us that seemingly far away events are close by, relevant to any serious person’s life. The photographer engages our attention first by heightening our amazement at the sensuality of fire. Most of us have enjoyed looking into a fireplace, but few of us have observed as well as he has the astonishing shapes and colors and fluidity of fire. He is so skilled in recording its appearance that occasionally we almost hear the burning and feel the warmth. What do the photographs mean? We recoil from that question in fear that the pictures might wither to abstraction, but their sensuality saves them. In any case we all do look for meaning in life and thus in art, its reflection. How could we not, since the two most evident characteristics of life, beauty and suffering, seem a contradiction that undermines meaning, or at least obscures it. Because Schwarm includes views of beauty at so many different hours of day and dusk and night, and because he shows us beauty even after destruction, the pictures suggest to me that beauty lasts forever. The fires on the Flint Hills are now usually set and shaped by people who want, in so far as they understand, to help heal the earth”.