March 12 to April 18, 2018
Exhibition free and open to the public Monday – Friday 8:30-4:30
Artist Talk and Gallery Reception: ”Jack Spencer in Conversation with Paul Polycarpou of Nashville Arts Magazine”
Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 P.M.
Room 104, Bragg Media and Entertainment Building
The Baldwin Photographic Gallery is proud to present the exhibition JACK SPENCER featuring twenty-one works drawn from Jack’s haunting and poetic photography of the past twenty-five years. In his first body of work, Native Soil, Jack traveled throughout the South breaking down misconceptions established in his youth. Images such as “Baptismal Candidates” and “Boy With Fish” reflect and invoke a southern sensibility with his subjects rooted in the rural delta culture.
In the series, Apariciones, Jack crosses the border to explore the myth-thick soils of Mexico. “Jesus”, Oaxaca Moon Negra,” and “Monte Albon” wear the apparitions of places steeped in ritual, magic, and local fiction. The images are heavily manipulated in the darkroom, using unique methods of burning and dodging for tonal control and ultimately the artist’s deeper expression of the subject.
“I do not like relying on the camera to express my viewpoint, ” Jack states. “The camera interprets on a somewhat flat scale. I go about enhancing the image – adding and subtracting the light – to give it more life. There is a fine line between interpreting and over-interpreting, and I am patient with the image, allowing it to dictate where it needs to go.”
This approach continues in Jack’s later bodies of work, even if the look of the work changes as much as the subject matter. In the series This Land: An American Portrait, Jack travels thousands of miles in the wake of 9/11 ”in hope of making a few ‘sketches’ of America in order to gain some clarity on what it meant to be living in this nation at this moment in time.” Jack’s painterly manipulations and use of color and light illuminate the sublime and simple beauty of this vast nation in images such as “Yellowstone River” and “Road to Livingston Montana.”
Jack’s latest works come from the series Mythologies. The style and subject matter of “Light Vessel,” “Bear Skull,” “Madame M,” and “Belle” further reveal the diversity and scope of the artist’s curiosity and compulsion to create. Jack states he “wanted the figures to be kind of primal and distinct, separated from the rest of humanity. The whole idea of mythology is that there are beings and creatures that didn’t exist before and don’t exist now, they only existed for that brief second. And they won’t exist again.”
Jack Spencer’s work is in major private and public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Berkely Museum of Art; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; the Brookings Institute, Fairfax Virginia; the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville; the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; the Cleveland Museum of Art; and Sir Elton John’s Photography Collection. In 2005, he received the Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year in the nature category. His work has been published in the monographs Native Soil by LSU Press, Jack Spencer by 21st Editions, and Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface by Vanderbilt Press, The Land: An American Portrait by University of Texas Press, and Mythologies by 21st Editions.
To see more of Jack Spencer’s work visit jackspencer.com