(October 14, 2015) – Chicago artist Kenneth Josephson is best known for his witty images that explore the illusory nature of photography. An exhibition of his work will open in the second floor Katz Gallery at the Figge Art Museum on Saturday titled: Wit and Whimsy: the Photographs of Kenneth Josephson.
The exhibition, sponsored by the Hunt and Diane Harris Family Foundation, will include 42 Josephson photographs from the Figge’s permanent collection, the Stephen Daiter Gallery in Chicago, Illinois and one from Terry Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.
Included will be one of Josephson’s best works, New York State 1970, where the artist’s arm and hand are seen holding the image of an ocean liner against a backdrop of ocean, making it clear that neither ocean nor ship are “real”—both are just recognizable images. In another popular work, LA, 1982, Josephson photographs his arm holding up a square of paper to frame a small, squiggly section of a painted white crosswalk, defining its curves as “art” as selected by the photographer, whose shadow can be seen in the corner of the image.
Many of Josephson’s works can either be considered a discovery or an alteration of a scene that questions our tendency to accept the photographic image as “truth” and expose the photographer’s role as the manipulator of information.
A native of Detroit, Josephson studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and at the Illinois Institute of Technology with well-known photographers Harry Calahan and Aaron Siskind. He taught photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for 30 years. His work is included in museum collections worldwide, including the Figge Art Museum.
Visitors will have the opportunity to view classic images from Josephson’s early work along with more recent investigations of the potential of the photographic image.
Wit and Whimsy: The Photographs of Kenneth Josephson will be on display through February 7, 2016.
Opening Reception/Artist Talk
Thursday, November 12
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception with light hors d'oeuvres
7 p.m. Artist Talk with Kenneth Josephson
Members are invited to mingle in the lobby with light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. Join artists Kenneth Josephson and Marilyn Zimmerwoman at 7 p.m. for a conversation about Josephson’s artwork and the current exhibition. Free!
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2016