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Bruce Silverstein Gallery : Pete Turner : The Color of Light


Bruce Silverstein Gallery presents Pete Turner : The Color of Light, an exhibition celebrating one of history’s pioneers of color photography.

Featuring a selection of Pete Turner’s most iconic photographic images from the 1950s to the late 1990s, The Color of Light will display many of the artist’s most celebrated works and offer plenty of surprises; it is a visual feast of discovery and wonder with images depicting classic Americana, other-worldly landscapes, and hyper- surreal abstractions. Fusing never-before-seen saturated color with striking and often complex compositions decades before the advent of Photoshop, Turner would not just set a new high bar for the limits of commercial photography of the day but also come to influence countless artists of his generation and after, including David LaChapelle, Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr, and Albert Watson. His reputation and reach were so significant that in 2000 PDN voted Pete Turner one of the 20 most influential photographers.

Pete Turner (1934-2017) began his photographic career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, Turner served with the Second Signal Combat photography team at the Army Pictorial Center in Long Island City. During that time, he began to explore his growing interests in the undiscovered possibilities of color photography, utilizing the military’s photo lab to experiment with the type-C color process, which was in its infancy. Turner quickly saw success in his color photography with his first photo essay on Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1958 for Look magazine. Not long after, Turner’s unique imagery would become ubiquitous, appearing in magazine spreads from Sports Illustrated to Esquire, major advertisement campaigns for Bacardi, General Motors, and AT&T, and on over 100 hundred record album covers ranging from Coltrane, John Coltrane 1962, to the Greatest Hits, Steely Dan, 1978, to Jorge Pescara, Grooves in the Temple, 2005.

Over the next 50 years, Turner developed his unique style of vivid color, often utilizing polarizing filters, colored gels, and multiple exposures to produce unnatural effects that bordered on the fantastic and surreal that the critic A.D. Coleman would define as an “indescribable otherness.”


Pete Turner : The Color of Light
March 16 – May 13, 2023
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
529 W 20th St
New York, NY 10011

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