The Husband and Wife Pioneers of the Photomontage
Provenance: The artist; Gay Ann Burke, acquired from the above; The Estate of Gay Ann Burke. Proceeds from the sale of this photograph will help fund the annual Gay Burke Memorial Fellowship in Photographic Arts, administered by the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Gay Ann Burke was born December 30, 1946 in Brownwood, Texas, and died May 1, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At the University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History, Gay became the first female full professor. It was there that she developed a distinguished fine art photography program. Many called her the "Mother of Alabama Art Photography" and she was responsible for raising the stature of photography as an art form throughout the South. She taught fine art photography for 42 years to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Alabama before retiring in 2015.
Condition Report: Dry mounted to board measuring 16 x 14 inches; yellowing with minor foxing and soiling along the edges of the mount, not affecting the image; minor silver mirroring and minor foxing noticeable in raking light.
Signature: Signed and dated in ink mount verso.
Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions
“I’ve spent so much time in the darkroom that it’s a part of me,” says Jerry Uelsmann, a pioneer in darkroom techniques who discovered a way to calibrate negatives on enlargers to blend various photographic images into a single surrealistic photomontage. Over the course of a career that began more than 50 years ago, his manipulated photographs have grown more beguiling and complex, but his methods and materials have remained the same. “The darkroom to this day—even though the computer world has emerged—has an alchemy aspect for me. It’s magical watching an image come up in the developer,” he says. Out of Uelsmann’s darkroom come exquisitely crafted gelatin silver prints featuring, for example, a thick mass of roots sprouting a house or, in a nod to Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealists, an eye embedded in a urinal.
American, b. 1934, Detroit, Michigan