VERVE Gallery of Photography :: photoblog 2011-06-06 18:00:00

VERVE Gallery of Photography Presents

Cy DeCosse
A Retrospective

Opening Reception: Friday, July 8, 5-7pm
Exhibition is on view Friday, June 24 – Saturday, September 3, 2011

Conversation with Cy DeCosse: Saturday, July 9, 2pm
Location: VERVE Gallery of Photography

VERVE Gallery of Photography is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition by gallery artist and acclaimed photographer, Cy DeCosse. The exhibition showcases Cy’s work for the past eighteen years. DeCosse works in alternative processes: platinum palladium, photogravure, and gum dichromate printing. His work will grace the entire gallery for the duration of the summer.

The public reception for this exhibition is on Friday, July 8, 2011 from 5-7pm. There will be a conversation with Cy DeCosse about his work at VERVE Gallery on Saturday, July 9, 2011 from 2-3pm. The exhibition is on view Friday, June 24, 2011 through Saturday, September 3, 2011.

Cy DeCosse’s philosophy about a picture is simple: “A photograph should be interesting to look at. I like to get in close so you see things you’ve never seen before.” He does just that and he does so with extraordinary craftsmanship. His images whisk us away to lush gardens to imagine, to dream, to delight in the sublime beauty of his artistry. His work has a decidedly European flavor, a special touch he learned and explored while on a Fulbright grant in Florence. Cy’s work is unequivocally different. He is truly an alchemist in that his work is produced in alternative photographic mediums that become handcrafted platinum/palladium or three-color dichromate pigment prints. Cy discovers the extraordinary in ordinary objects by his use of light: lateral light, front light, back light, daylight, and moonlight. “Tuscan Lemons”, “Pears”, “Water Lily”, “Three Asian Onions”, “Lotus”, the “King and Queen of the Night” as seen through Cy’s inspired eye, capture what Alexander Pope calls “grace beyond the reach of art”.

DeCosse’s most recent work is a four-volume book set on the classic Greek elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The photos in these books range from intimate studio photography to portraiture and landscapes in locations as distant as Iceland and the Sahara Desert.

Cy DeCosse was born in Valley City, North Dakota in 1929. He won a scholarship to the Minneapolis School of Art and Design where he bought his first camera, an Exa, and turned his coal cellar into a darkroom. After graduation, in 1954, Cy won a Fulbright Scholarship to Florence. While in Italy he studied with the gifted Renzo Maggini at the Instituto d’Arte di Porta Romana. Renzo Maggini provided Cy’s only formal photographic instruction. Cy then went on to a successful career in book publishing producing highly photographic “how-to” books on various topics many of which were translated into 17 languages.

With the sale of his company in 1994, Cy returned to his first love, photography. Cy lives and works in Minnesota. In 2001, with Keith Taylor as printer, the two began the revival of the gum dichromate technique, an alternative process that produces a color print of extraordinary beauty.

DeCosse’s work is in numerous public collections including the England Royal Trust and the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. His work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad. There are four books containing Cy’s work. The first is a limited edition book published by The Journal of Contemporary Photography: Volume IV, entitled: Gardens of DeCosse (2000). The book is devoted exclusively to the work of the artist. The images in the book range from the quiet morning’s light falling on freshly picked vegetables to the riotous energy of flowers in full bloom. The second is a catalog for an exhibition held at the Accademia Delle Arti Del Disegno Firenze, Italy in October, 2001, entitled: Cy DeCosse: Play of the Light (2001). His third book is entitled Flowers and Food (2009) and it contains DeCosse’s botanical photographs in Gum Dichromate & Platinum. Florence by Cy DeCosse (2009) is a book of portraits that Cy dedicates to his muse, the city of Florence and its people.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 612-721-2286

Jennifer Schlesinger, Director
219 E. Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 505-982-5009 Fax: 505-982-9111

Download the full version with images here.