Photographer Ralph Gibson Lecture

27 February 2016

On February 24, renowned American photographer Ralph Gibson visited Carleton to present a lecture titled “The Next Step: A Retrospective Showing of Selected Works From 1960-2016,” which encompassed works from various chapters throughout his prolific career. He also led a master class with Linda Rossi’s photography course the next day.

This lecture was given in conjunction with an exhibit of his work, “The Art of The Detail: Ralph Gibson,” on display through Feb. 28 in the Erling O. and Geneva E. Johnson Room (148) of the Weitz Center for Creativity. The photographs in the exhibit were donated to the Carleton College Art Collection by Arthur ’68 and Betty Kowaloff, generous sponsors of this event. With over 400 of Gibson’s photographs, Carleton has one of the largest collections of his work in the United States.

Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Ralph Gibson studied photography in the U.S. Navy, and following his discharge, he was an assistant to Robert Frank and Dorothea Lange before studying at the San Francisco Art Institute. The Somnambulist, his first major book, was published in 1970 and was followed by Déjà Vu and Days at Sea. These books compose his groundbreaking surrealist trilogy and have sold more than 45,000 copies.

Gibson’s photographs are included in over 170 museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of one-man exhibitions. In November of last year, Gibson presented Finding a Visual Identity in the Digital Age at TEDxFulbrightSantaMonica. He is considered one of the most influential photographers working in America since the 1970s, having received three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships and the Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.