Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries are pleased to present the exhibition Ancestors and Foundlings. Featuring the photography of Lamar Dodd School of Art Professor Mary Ruth Moore, Ancestors and Foundlings opens on Tuesday, March 6 with an artist’s reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Broad Street Gallery, 257 W. Broad Street, and will remain on view through April 20. A gallery talk by the artist will occur on opening night at 7:30 p.m. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.
The works in this exhibition are developed from the authentic photographic techniques of Mary Ruth Moore. Beginning with an 8 x 10 inch studio camera built in 1900 and restored nearly one hundred years later by Professor Emeritus Robert Nix, Moore exposes her images directly onto single weight photographic paper, completely forgoing the use of film and creating one-of-a-kind exposures.
The subjects of Moore’s photographs vary – her ability to breathe life into seemingly static objects does not. Two bodies of work are evident in Ancestors and Foundlings, one comprised of still life compositions of bottles Moore has collected throughout her life, the other (and smaller) body of work centered upon still lifes of found photographs. Shot “in a room with good light,” as Moore says, referring to the light that streams into the north window of her Georgia studio, she captures the metaphysical properties of each of these found objects, carrying them beyond the materials of which they are made.
Somewhat inspired by the work of Giorgio Morandi, an Italian painter and contemporary of Giorgio DeChirico working in themes of the ‘metaphysical’ early in the 20th century, Moore’s photographs ally themselves more currently with the work of photographer Sally Mann in their desire to move beyond the subject presented, to a deeper vein of meaning. In an age of digital photography, retouching and Photoshop, it is the authenticity of these photographs – in artifact, as well as in the imaginative and creative acts that produced them- that resonate with the viewer.