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Atlanta: Wynn Bullock


The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia has currently in view one of the biggest and most significant U.S. exhibitions of Wynn Bullock’s work in nearly 40 years. The event is significant for the Bullock family estate, who has been very active in promoting the work of the late photographer (he passed away in 1975, at the age of 73). By way of a large gift of his vintage photographs to the High, they have also established a new repository of his work on the East Coast. Until now, most of Bullock’s work and personal notes have resided at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, a co-sponsor of the High’s exhibit.

The exhibit, judiciously entitled Revelations, has also the potential to reignite a general public interest for a master photographer who “has sort of fallen of the radar,” in the words of Brett Abbott, the Keough Family curator of photography at the High and main instigator for this exhibit.
During his lifetime, Bullock’s work has been exhibited worldwide and most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His photographs appeared in “Family of Man”, hailed as one of the most published books of photography in history.
But, as much as Wynn Bullock’ s career left its marks in the 20th century, his aura faded away with time (at least comparatively to that of his close friends and influential West Coast artists Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. )
“Bullock was much more interested in his personal work than in promoting it,” explains Abbott, and that certainly contributed to getting him “out of the fade”, among other possible explanations. “He was not particularly close to the influential curators of his time either,” Abbott remarked.

Bullock was an artist in a broad sense, an artist that chose photography as the medium, a thinker as much as a photographer, who put photography on the same level as science, spirituality or philosophy. Bullock enjoyed experimenting like scientists do. He manipulated his negatives (through solarization, reticulation, upside-down prints or negative reversals) to extract additional layers of meaning and question how we perceive reality. He was fascinated by the scientific discoveries of Albert Einstein, his theory of relativity and ideas about time and space, two concepts that he put at the forefront of his visual exploration. And light, of course, which he also manipulated in his color work. “Light to me is perhaps the most profound truth in the universe. My thinking has been deeply affected by the belief everything is some form of radiant energy,” wrote Bullock.

Wynn Bullock: Revelations
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
1280 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Until January 18, 2015

A complementary show of Wynn Bullock’s work is concurrently on display at Lumière Gallery. Entitled “Radiant Energy – Portfolios and Photographs by Wynn Bullock,” it features contemporary prints from the Collector Edition Portfolio. Lumière also posted a very interesting series of videos and interviews on Bullock on its website.

Lumière Gallery
425 Peachtree Hills Ave. 29B
Atlanta GA 30305
Tel: 404 261.6100

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