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Vintage color photographs by John Pfahl on view at Joseph Bellows Gallery
Main Street, Santa Monica, CA, 1978. Vintage Ektacolor Print, 16 x 20 inches.

LA JOLLA, CA.- Joseph Bellows Gallery announces its exhibition, John Pfahl: Picture Windows. This exhibition will present vintage color photographs selected from Pfahl’s series of the same title, created between 1978-1981. In conjunction with this exhibition the gallery will exhibit selections from two of Pfahl’s other bodies of work, Waterfall and Altered Landscapes. This exhibition marks Pfahl’s second solo exhibition at Joseph Bellows Gallery.

John Pfahl’s working process tends to involve the creation of a series of images that combine the conceptual and the perceptual with the intention to comprehend our interventions with the landscape of the natural world. In the Picture Windows series, Pfahl has created photographs from inside various rooms looking outward. Each of these rooms holds a predetermined view within its window frame, like the image formed on the ground glass of a gigantic camera, the vista outside is experienced within the interior space of the room. These windows pointing outward, when pictured through Pfahl’s lens, offer new discoveries regarding place and our experience of it. The resulting luminous photographs created by the artist from these existing vantage points offer pictures within pictures, views from a dark chamber pointed out onto an inhabited landscape, as well as inward toward a consideration of the medium that produced the images.

John Pfahl was born in 1939 in New York, New York and raised in New Jersey. He studied art at Syracuse University, receiving a B.F.A. in 1961 and a M.A. from the School of Communications of the same university in 1968. His position in photography has been one of both a celebrated artist and an important educator. Pfahl taught photography for over decade at the Rochester Institute of Technology, educating many now important contemporary photographers and has served as a longtime adjunct professor in the Visual Studies department of the University of Buffalo. In 2009, he was the Honored Educator of the Year by the Society for Photographic Education. Other honors include two National Endowment for the Arts, Photographer’s Fellowships.

His work is in numerous prominent collections, including: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, George Eastman House, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Museum of Modern Art, Center for Creative Photography, Princeton University Art Museum, among others.

Monographs on Pfahls’s work include Altered Landscapes: The Photographs of John Pfahl (Friends of Photography 1982), Picture Windows (New York Graphic Society 1987), A Distanced Land (UNM/Albright-Knox Gallery 1990), Permutations on the Picturesque (Lightwork 1997) and Waterfall (Nazraeli Press 2000).

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