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March 30, 1999

Large Format Photo Exhibit to Open at Middlebury College

Exhibition to Feature Work by an International Roster of Artists

An exhibition titled The Big Picture: Large-Format Photography opens at the Middlebury College Museum of Art on Apr. 8. "Big Picture" features 13 works by 11 internationally renowned photographers and will run through Aug. 1, 1999. A gallery talk will be given by the exhibition curator and associate director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art Emmie Donadio on Tuesday, April 13, at 4:30 p.m.

The exhibition features work by artists from Germany, France, Italy, Japan, England, and the United States. Artists represented include Dawoud Bey, Chuck Close, Barbara Ess, Andreas Gursky, Vera Lutter, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Adam Fuss, Massimo Vitali, Tokihiro Sato, and French conceptual artist Patrick Tosani.

"Although the scale of the exhibit's images would have been unthinkable in earlier days," said Donadio of the large-format exhibit, "the subjects on view are the same that have seduced photographers--and their viewers--from the birth of photography, over 150 years ago."

Measuring 119" x 92" (nearly 80 square feet), the largest single photograph is an urban landscape by Tokihiro Sato, of Omiya, Saitama Prefecture in Japan. A view of light-years titled "stars 14th 30m/-50" by Thomas Ruff, of Düsseldorf, Germany, is easily the most enormous subject on view. A photogram of a one-year-old child by British-born Adam Fuss provides the exhibition with a human scale which is enhanced by Dawoud Bey's sensitive portrayal of three young African-American women, the only portrait on view.

An oversize Alice-in-Wonderland "Anthurium" by Chuck Close, is guaranteed to dwarf its viewers. Andreas Gursky's "Chicago Board of Trade" and Massimo Vitali's "Seaside Bathers on the Beach at Riccione" offer more reassuring, panoramic vantages. Thomas Struth, who lives in Düsseldorf but photographs city streets all over the world, shows two breath-taking views of Shanghai. Vera Lutter, who also photographs cityscapes, shows a haunting view of Manhattan.

While scale has been a driving principle of selection here, the curator has also aimed to demonstrate a wide variety of photographic techniques and practices. There are images made from large-format Polaroid cameras, pinhole cameras, and even a room-size camera obscura. Black and white positives as well as negatives are included, and there is one work shot in black and white film and processed in color.

Located in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Route 30 in Middlebury, the Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Free parking is available at the Center for the Arts. Rehearsals Cafe, adjacent to the Museum, serves lunches, coffees, teas, and desserts from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For further information please call the Museum at (802) 443-5007.