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Exhibition Appropriates and Preserves the Spirit of the Mid-Century Miami Photographer

MIAMI, FL.- ArtCenter/South Florida’s (“ACSF”) One-Three Collective presents The Walden Project, a compelling exhibition of works created with images by famed Miami photographer Carl Walden. On view from July 24 to August 30, 2009, opening night is slated for Saturday, July 25 at ACSF (800 Lincoln Road at Meridian Avenue). ArtCenter artists-in-residence Natasha Duwin, Jules Lusson, Venessa Monokian and Hugo Moro have combined forces as One-Three Collective to revive the artistic spirit of the late Walden, a historical figure whose archives need a new home and platform for viewership.

“The Walden Project provides visitors with an opportunity to see artists re-interpret historic photographs and objects to create fresh and innovative new works,” said Jeremy Chestler, ACSF Executive Director. “ArtCenter/South Florida’s gallery has long offered a forum to engage the public in a dialogue about art-making and appreciation. In many cases, our exhibits and studios are many viewers’ first introduction to contemporary art.”

In 2007, One-Three Collective members Duwin, Lusson, Monokian and Moro completed a special, six-month residency at ArtCenter/South Florida to develop The Walden Project. This entailed the organization of vast archives from The Carl Walden Studios, bequeathed to One-Three-member Lusson in 2003 upon the death of the artist’s wife, Mrs. Natalie Walden. Photographer Peggy Levison Nolan joined the collective in selecting large-format negatives from the archives, mostly to generate prints highlighting Walden’s talent as windows into the culture of Mid-century Miami.

“We hope to capture the attention of South Florida’s historical institutions with the appropriate facilities to preserve The Carl Walden Archives,” said Moro of One-Three Collective. “Whether shown in whole or in part for the use of scholars and artists, our mission is to re-introduce the works of this great photographer and to pay homage to his legacy.”

Many of Walden’s photos depict entertainers from the 40s through the 70s that performed in Miami including Billy Graham, Walter Winchell, Gipsy Rose Lee and Charles Atlas. A native of Sweden, he began his vocation as photographer to the stars at Harper’s Bazaar and later opened his own studio. Official photographer of the McFadden Deauville Hotel (demolished in 1958) and Flamingo Hotel, Walden has also captured former presidents Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. For many years, he helped fill the pages of The Miami Herald with shots of weddings and social events, and during World War II, served as Army photographer.

With images chosen for their historical significance, new pieces in a variety of non-traditional shapes and artifacts were born of Walden’s classic photographs. One-Three Collective premieres The Walden Project at ArtCenter/South Florida in hopes of finding a local artistic institution that will preserve The Carl Walden Archives in perpetuity. Formed in 2003, One-Three Collective participated in the 2006 IX Havana Biennial and 2007 All–Media Juried Biennial.

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