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Joseph Bellows Gallery : Thomas Barrow : The Automobile


Joseph Bellows Gallery presents the exhibition, Thomas Barrow: The Automobile. This solo exhibition will showcase a selection of vintage photographs from Barrow’s highly influential extended series, The Automobile, a three-part portfolio created in 1964-65. During the mid-1960s, Thomas Barrow studied with Aaron Siskind at the Institute of Design in Chicago. While there he completed a visual study comprised of 115 photographs entitled, The Automobile. This series formed his thesis project and examined the role of cars in American culture. The series presented three individual yet connecting sections, which follow the automobile from display in the showroom and at car shows, through daily travels on the street and within parking lots, and eventually to their demise, discarded at the junkyard.

Thomas Barrow graduated with an M.S. in photography from the Institute of Design. He began his career as Curator of Exhibitions at the George Eastman House and then became the museum’s Assistant Director in the early 1970s. Later, Barrow moved to New Mexico, where he was the Associate Director of the Art Museum at the University of New Mexico. In 1976, he began teaching photography in the university’s Art Department. Thomas Barrow is Professor Emeritus of Photography at the University of New Mexico. His photographs are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the George Eastman Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Black Dog Collection, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where his archive is also housed.

A career survey on Barrow’s work, Inventories and Transformations: The Photographs of Thomas Barrow, was published in 1986 in conjunction with the solo exhibition of the same title at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2012 his celebrated series Cancellations was published by powerHouse books.


Thomas Barrow – The Automobile

Until February 4th, 2022

Joseph Bellows Gallery

7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

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