LINCOLN, MA.-Arno Rafael Minkkinen, an internationally known Finnish-American photographer who lives in Andover, Massachusetts, is the subject of a mid-career retrospective premiering at DeCordova. Saga: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Photographs 1970–2005, is a 120-print traveling exhibition curated by A.D. Coleman and Todd Brandow for the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography.
Since the early 1970s, Minkkinen has been photographing his unclothed body in a wide variety of landscape and interior settings, from Finland to New England, from the American West to sites in Italy and France. These unmanipulated surreal and timeless black and white photographs are astonishing in the way Minkkinen maneuvers his body so that it echoes or seems to become part of the land formation. As A.D. Coleman, one of the curators of the exhibition writes, Minkkinen’s “…images comprise an account of an epic journey—both a physical adventure in the natural and urban world and a psychological voyage of the lone human spirit.”
Saga will be accompanied by a major new publication on the artist’s oeuvre. The 168-page book reproduces all of the photographs in the exhibition and includes essays by Alan Lightman, A.D. Coleman, and Arthur Danto, as well as technical notes and an annotated chronology prepared by the artist.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s work has been published, exhibited, and collected worldwide. He attended the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied with Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan. Minkkinen has taught at MIT, the Philadelphia College of Art, and various European universities. Since 1988, he has been a Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Several of Minkkinen’s photographs were exhibited in DeCordova’s groundbreaking show Photography in Boston, 1955–1985, for which the artist also wrote the catalogue essay on Polaroid photography.
The DeCordova presentation of the exhibition is supported by funding from the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.