Ralph Gibson

Born in 1939 - United States


Ralph Gibson was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1939. Today he lives and works in New York. He served as a photographer's mate in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960. After his service he studied painting and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1960-61. In 1961-1962, he worked as a printing assistant to photographer Dorothea Lange. It was Lange who gave him the most important advice of his career - to find his "departure point." In 1963 he moved back to Los Angeles.

Between 1967 and 1969, Gibson assisted Robert Frank on the film, Me and My Brother. Starting with The Strip (Los Angeles, 1966), he began to publish his work in book form, though the reception of his first volumes was poor. His photographs of this early period were in a documentary style influenced by Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson and William Klein, and in fact, Bruce Davidson and Mary Ellen Mark presented him to Magnum Photos for membership consideration.

According to Gibson, he began to understand his "departure point," when in the process of analyzing his documentary work, he realized that his interest in the hand was a common thread throughout much of his work. Gibson was unable to sell his first book of this new work to a publisher. In 1969 Gibson moved to New York, where he formed Lustrum Press in order to exert control over the reproduction of his work. His images often incorporated fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition.

A shift in Gibson's work appeared in the 1970s and he began to create surreal images. published in book form for which he is best known. In 1970 he published The Somnambulist, followed in 1972 by Deja-vu, and in 1974 by Days at Sea. These works established Gibson's career in creative photography. The control he exercised over each publication enabled him to organize the images associatively in the manner of a dream sequence. Both the individual black-and-white photographs, printed in high contrast, and their arrangement made use of enigmatic juxtapositions, reflecting the influence of Surrealism.

In 1975 Gibson's work moved away from books toward exhibitions. He joined Castelli Graphics the same year, and had his first exhibition there, Quadrants, in 1976. Since the early 1970s Gibson's photographic series have been published in over 18 books, several through his own Lustrum Press. In the 1980s Gibson's work became more formal. This work, which can only be touched on here, is represented by a few of the more than 15 published monographs including; Syntax (1983), Tropism (1987), L'Anonyme (1987), and L'Histoire de France (1991). Gibson divides his time between New York and Paris.

Gibson's work is included in important collections including The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, the International Center for Creative Photography, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, West Germany and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam among many others.

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Goeun Museum, Busan, Korea
Wuyue Art Gallery, 798, Beijing
Leica Gallery, Hollywood, Calif.
Paci Contemporary, Brescia, Italy
Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal, Canada

Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam
The Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo, Brazil
China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
Gold Street Studios, Victoria, Australia

The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Gallery 916, Tokyo, Japan
Point Light Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Les Murs (The Old City Walls) Toulouse, France

Palm Beach Photographic Center Museum, Florida
Spectrum Gallery, Rochester, NY
The Leica Gallery, Paris

Leica Gallery, Solms, Germany
Red Shirley Screening at the Marfa Film Festival, TX
Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University
Photo4, Paris, France
Gallery SEE+, Beijing

Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Arca Arte, Vercelli, Italia
Photo 4, Paris
Fahey / Klein Gallery, Hollywood

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
The Fototeca in Havana, Cuba
The Moscow Biennale of Photography, Russia

The Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
Center for Creative Photograhy, Tucson, AZ

Soka Art Gallery, Beijing, China
Gallerie LWS, Paris
92nd Street YMCA, New York City
Theatre de la Photographie, Nice, France

Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy
Sun Art Center, Seoul, Korea
University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, KY

The Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida
The Hermes Store Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
The Hermes Store Gallery, New York City, NY
The Ross Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

Moscow House of Photography, Russia
The Drabinsky Gallery, Toronto, Canada

Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Benham Gallery, Seattle, Washington
Galerie Aittuares, Paris, France
Galerie Lucie Weil Seligman, Paris, France

Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson
Bjorn Wetterling, Stockholm, Sweeden

Kerava Art Museum, Kereva,Finland
Galerie Lucie Weil Seligman, Paris, France
Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, England
Galerie Bodo Neimann, Berlin, Germany
Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy
Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, England
Casino Bellevue, Biarritz, France

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France

Tower Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville. S.C.
Galerie Bodo Neiman,Documenta, Basel, Switzerland
Narodni Muzei Zadar, Croatia
Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle, Washington
Sandra Berler Gallery, Chevy Chase, Maryland

High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Whitney Museum of American Art
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City
Frankfurt Kunstverhein, Frankfurt, Germany
Leica Gallery, New York City
Joel Soroka Gallery, Aspen
Galeria Forum, Tarragona, Spain

French Cultural Services, New York
Tampa Museum of Art, Florida
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY
Cantor Art Gallery, Holy Cross University, Worchester, MA

Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
25?âME ANNIVERSAIRE, Les Rencontres D'Arles, France
ART JONCTION, Leo Castelli, Cannes

"L'Aire de Bourgogne," (Catalog) Espace des Arts, Chalon sur Saone, France
"Women," (Catalog) Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
"Landscapes," (Catalog) Light Impressions, Rochester, NY

Galerie Antoine Candau, Paris, France
Kunstverein Emmerich, Haus imm Park, Germany
Photography House, Prague
Galerie Sin Titulo, Nice
PICTURES OF PEACE, Louise Jones Brown Gallery, Duke University, NC

Castelli Graphics, New York
Galerie Municipal du Chateau d'Eau, Toulouse, France
Espace Photo, Paris Audiovisuel, Paris
Galerie Eric Van De Wege, Brussels
I.C.A.C./ Weston Gallery, Tokyo
VIsion Gallery, San Francisco
Oklahoma City Art Museum
Galleria Arco D'Alibert, Roma
Princessehof Musuem, Leuwardern, Holland
Les Chiroux, Musee Liege, Belgium
Leica U.S.A., Northvale, New Jersey

Musee Nicephore Niepce, Calon Sur Soane, France
Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Canarias (COAC), Tenerife, Canray Islands
Quatrieme Triennale Internationle de la Photographie, Musee de la
Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium
Boyage en Riberac, Espace Culturel de l"Ancienne Eglise, Notre Dame, Tiberac, France
Drew University Art Gallery, Madison, New Jersey
Galeria Valentim de Carvalho, Lisbon
Visor-Centre Fotografic, Valencia, Spain

Galerie Fiolet, Amsterdam
The Arts Club of Chicago
Galleria Spectrum, Saragosa. Spain
Moderna Museet, Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm

The Photographer's Gallery, London
Galerie Rene Metras, Barcelona
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Amical Laique, Carcassonne, France
Minneapolis Institue of the Arts
Galerie Agathe Galliard, Paris
Municipal Exhibition Hall, Pamplona, Spain
7?©me Recontres Photographique in Bretagne, Villa Margaret, Lorient, France
Galerie Nei Liicht, Dudelange, Luxembourg
Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra, Portugal

Villa Medici, Rome
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
International Center of Photography, New York
Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid
Museo Archivi Alinari, Florence
Galerie des Kunstveriens, Heinsberg, West Germany
Spectrum Gallery, Light Impressions, Rochester, New York
USIS Cultural Center, Cairo
Museum of Fine Arts, Alexandria
Sandra Berler Gallery, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Hellenic Center of Photography, Athens
FNAC, Lyon, France
Fotografie Forum, Frankfurt, West Germany
Olympus Gallery, Amsterdam
Centre Bourse, Marseilles
Alliance Francaise, New York
Photo Art Basel, Switerland
FNAC, Belgium
FNAC, Nice
FNAC, Marseilles
FNAC, Toulouse

Musee Carnavalet, Paris
American Cultural Center, Brussels
Galeria Forum, Tarragon, Spain
Galerie FNAC, Paris
National Exhibit Hall, Moabane, Swaziland
Ministry of Culture Hall, Marrakech, Morocco
USIS Cultural Center, Rabat, Morocco
USIS Cultural Center, Dakar, Senegal
USIS Cultural Center, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Benteller-Morgan Gallery, Houston, Texas

Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris
Castelli Uptown, New York
Bouwfonds Hovelaken, The Netherlands
Consjo Argention de Fotografia, Buenos Aires

Weston Gallery, Carmel, California

Seattle Art Museum
Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Idaho

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Galerie Agathe Galliard, Paris
Castelli Graphics, New York
Shadai Gallery, Tokyo
Olympus Gallery, London
FIAC, Paris

Sprengel Museum, Hanover, West Germany
Cantieri Navali, La Giudeca, Venice
P.P.S. Gallery, Hamburg, West Germany
Mattingly Baker Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Museum Folkwang, Essen, West Germany
Spectro Arts Workshop, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England

Castelli Graphics, New York
The Night Gallery, London
Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf, West Germany
Galleria Arco D'Alibert, Rome
The Photography Gallery, Wales
Olympus Show Room, Hamburg, West Germany

Werkstatt Fur Photographie, Berlin
Canon Gallery, Geneva
Grapestake Gallery, San Francisco
ICA Museum of Art, Richmond, Virginia
Galerie Pennings, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Nouvelle Images, The Hague

Robert Self Gallery, London
Castelli Graphics, New York
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona
Camera Obscura, Stockholm
Photographers Gallery, Melbourne
Galerie Fiolet, Amsterdam
Museum of Modern Art, Brisbane
Galerie Givudan, Geneva
Nexus Gallery, Atlanta

Van Reekum Galerij Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris
Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm
CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Silver Image Gallery, Seattle
Musuem of Modern Art, Oxford, England
Side Gallery, Newcastle, England

Photographers Gallery, Melbourne
Galerie Breiting, Berlin
Castelli Graphics, New York
University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Focus Gallery, San Francisco
Light Impressions, Rochester, New York
Galerie Fiolet, Amsterdam
The Silver Image, Tacoma, Washington
Texas Center for Photographic Studies, Dallas
Columbia College, Chicago
Photogenesis, Columbus, Ohio
Galerie Jean Deiuzaide, Toulouse, France

Hoesch Museum, Duren, West Germany
Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris
Madison Arts Center, Wisconsin
Broxton Gallery, West Los Angeles


FOTOmentor Lifetime Award, Palm Beach Photographic Center

The Lucie Award

Appointed, Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France

Silver Plum Design Trust for Public Space

Doctor of Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University

Grand Medal of the City of Arles, France

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Maryland

Eastman Kodak Grant to photography, "L'Histoire de France "
"150 Years of Photography" Award, Photographic Society of Japan

Leica Medal of Excellence Award

Decorated, Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship

D.A.A.D West Berlin, Germany
C.A.P.S., New York State Council of the Arts Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

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