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Laurence Miller Gallery : Bruce Wrighton : Dinosaurs and Dreamboats


Laurence Miller sends us this wonderful portfolio by Bruce Wrighton which he presented almost 20 years ago in his gallery, here is the text which accompanied the exhibition at the time.

Laurence Miller Gallery inaugurates the 2006 winter season with its first-ever exhibition of the work of Bruce Wrighton. Entitled Dinosaurs and Dreamboats, this show of approximately 20 color photographs celebrates the irony inherent in classic automotive design and technology of the 1950’s in juxtaposition with classic American business ventures. More than simply portraits of marvelous cars and bygone shops, these vibrant images taken in upstate New York transport the viewer back in time to the post WWII era when America was optimistic, upbeat, and full of swagger. In his brilliant description of the 1950’s American automotive phenomenon, Brocks Yates opines: Thanks to the nation’s confidence—and its access to the cheapest gasoline on Earth—there was no stopping the creation of the biggest, fastest, heaviest, flashiest cars that…could be spread out on the drawing boards. There were no government pressures, no environmental concerns, no serious cries for safety, no motivation for fuel economy—no restraints whatever on what has to stand as the last hour that the great automotive dinosaurs roamed the earth. The design and technology of these machines were not lost on Bruce Wrighton. Though these cars were ridiculed shortly after their demise, they are now collected as symbols of an age in which America was proud, confident, and respected. It is with great irony that he chose the most colorful, flashiest automobiles to photograph in front of the most working-class businesses. Thus a 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 with long sleek chrome lines and white sidewall tires is positioned in front of Mariani’s Shoe and Heel Repair, or a 1958 red and white Corvette convertible fronts Curley’s Bar and Grill. In the photographs of Bruce Wrighton, everyone has access to these extraordinary machines. Bruce Wrighton was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1950. He received a Kodak “top 100 new photographers” award and died shortly after completing this project in 1988.

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