Exhibitions

In Camera: John Chiara’s American Landscapes

All images from the series American Landscape © John Chiara

The San Francisco-based photographer John Chiara, who captures landscapes with giant cameras he designs and builds himself, then transports on a flatbed trailer, are to go on show for the first time in Europe.

Chiara’s unique process, which is to be exhibited by Next Level gallery in Paris, produces one-of-a-kind large-scale prints.  His approach consciously recalls the early days of the medium when artists dealt with heavy, awkward equipment and endured long exposure and development times.

The design of the cameras, which is much like daguerreotype box cameras, allows the artist to simultaneously shoot and perform his darkroom work while images are recorded directly onto oversized photosensitive paper.

This process, which Chiara first discovered as a student in 1999, invites anomalies in his final prints, “adding to the mystery and lyricism of his pictures,” the gallery said in a statement.

John Chiara received his B.F.A. in Photography from the University of Utah in 1995, and his M.F.A. in Photography from the California College of the Arts in 2004. He was an Artist in Residence at Crown Point Press in San Francisco throughout 2006, and at Gallery Four in Baltimore during 2010.

In 2011 he was included in the prestigious San Franciso gallery Pier 24’s Photography group exhibition, HERE.

The artist’s work is in the permanent public and private collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Pilara Foundation, San Francisco; National Gallery of Art, Washington; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Yale Gallery of Art, Cambridge; Flat Files Collection, Pierogi 2000, Williamsburg, NY; Crown Point Press Archive, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Crown Point Press Archive, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Collection Freese Family; Collection Kerstin Morehead, among others.

American Landscapes will open on Thursday, April 7 at Next Level gallery, 8 rue Charlot 75003 Paris.

The show will be on view through Saturday, June 4, with an opening reception on Thursday, April 7 from 6 to 8pm. More information here.