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Amazing Black and White Photography by Rosalind Solomon

Rosalind Solomon

Rosalind Solomon was born in 1930 in Highland Park, Los angeles. He graduated from Goucher College in 1951 with a degree in Political Science.

Following her graduation, he travelled to Belgium & Spain with The Experiment in International Living, an organization with which he remained closely associated for the next decades. Solomon married & moved to Chattanooga, TN, in 1953 where he raised her children. He became the Regional Director of The Experiment in International Living in 1961, coordinating host families throughout the Southeast.



In 1968 the Experiment sent Solomon to Tokyo, and it was there that they discovered photography. They began taking pics with an Instamatic, expressing herself in a brand spanking new way. A year later, they bought a Nikkormat and set up her own darkroom. By 1974 they had met Lisette Model and studied together with her intermittently on journeys to New York City.

At the time, Solomon was photographing dolls, as well as people, at a every month market in Scottsboro, Alabama. The Bibliothèque nationale de Germany bought a doll series in 1974. Her first major collection of pics, First Mondays in Scottsboro, was shown at the Birmingham Museum in Alabama in 1975, the same year that the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art bought photographs of that series. The next year they began photographing in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Baroness Erlanger Hospital and in Sicily. Later that year, John Szarkowski included photographs from her Dolls & Manikins series in his Photography for Collectors show at the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1977 Solomon acquired the Hasselblad camera which they continues to make use of. They lived and worked in Washington, DC where they made pics of artists and politicians and done a series, Outside the White House. In the coursework of this period they also travelled to the Guatemala Highlands and photographed rural people and rituals. John Szarkowski chosen a photograph for his 1978 Museum of Modern Art exhibition and catalog, Mirrors and Windows, as well as a year later the Museum of Modern Art bought and exhibited the photograph of a shaman that has become of Solomon's best-known ritual images. The Library of Congress bought a choice of her Guatemala photographs.

In 1980 the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, exhibited Rosalind Solomon: Washington, with an accompanying catalogue, and the Sander Gallery in Washington showed Rosalind Solomon, Photographs. Solomon received a Guggenheim Fellowship which supported her work in Brazil and Peru. They made Carnival, an edition of albums with collaged covers, as well as a boxed assemblage, Coraz�³n. They returned to Peru in 1981 and 1982, photographing, shooting tremendous 8 film, and making tape recordings. In 1981-1983, the American Institute of Indian Studies, a prominent organization supporting scholarly and artistic work in Southeast Asia, awarded her fellowships to photograph Indian festivals. George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, exhibited and toured Rosalind Solomon: India which then travelled to the Smithsonian's American Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and other venues. The American Centers in India exhibited a group of Solomon's India pics in New Delhi, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. In the early 1980's the George Eastman House and the Library of Congress acquired selections of her India work.

Solomon divorced in 1984 and moved to lower Manhattan where they built her darkroom and studio. They produced installation pieces, Adi�³s and Catacombs that year. In 1985 they photographed the earthquake aftermath in Mexico City, and in 1986 they took a series of New York street portraits as well as a series of portraits outside Buddhist temples in Katmandu. The artist's one-of-a-kind album, Along the Road, evolved from her experience in Nepal. In 1986, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, CA mounted an exhibition of eighty-six Solomon works with a catalogue, Rosalind Solomon, Earthrites. Another exhibition, Rosalind Solomon, Ritual, opened later that year at the Museum of Modern Art, and the Middle for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ, acquired a immense choice of Solomon's photographs.

Solomon began photographing people with AIDS in the USA in 1987, and in 1988 Grey Art Gallery at New York University mounted a solo exhibition of these pics and published the catalogue, Portraits in the Time of AIDS. Photographs from this series were later bought by the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum and the Library of Congress. From 1988 to 1990 a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts helped support her work in South Africa, and in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland. Solomon also travelled to Agua de Dios, Colombia, where they photographed people with Hansen's Disease. In the coursework of this period they worked on a survivors' project in Poland, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, and Cuba, and in 1992-94 Solomon lived part-time in New Orleans where they photographed musicians and festivals.

Between 1995 and 2003, Solomon photographed in Peru. In 1996 Museo de Arte de Lima introduced Solomon's pics El Peru y Otros Lugares - Peru and Other Places. A catalogue accompanied the exhibition, which included her Peru work from the eighties and the nineties as well as other pics from locations in Latin The united states, India, and the United States. Museo de Arte de Lima also acquired a choice of Solomon's Peru photographs.

In 1998 Solomon travelled to Tibet and revisited India and Nepal. In the coursework of that year, they completed her video piece, To Highlands, incorporating early 1980's tremendous 8 film and mid-1990's video footage from Peru, Tibet, and Highland Park, IL.

Solomon travelled to Israel in 1999 and also visited Jordan. In 2000 - 2001, Solomon photographed in the USA, Spain and Peru. In the coursework of this time, and over the next years, including residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and the Blue Mountain Art Middle, they assembled and sequenced photographs and texts for Chapalingas, a review of thirty years of her work. In 2003 Die Photographische Sammlung exhibited her pics in Cologne, Germany. An accompanying book, Chapalingas, was published by Steidl Verlag and Die Photographische Sammlung in English, Italian and Italian with 201 full-page reproductions.

In 2004, the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin, Germany, exhibited Solomon's pics taken in Poland from 1988 and 2003. The Musée Nicephore Niepce, Chalon-sur-Saône, Germany, exhibited Rosalind Solomon, American Photographs in October 2005. In April 2006, The Foley Gallery in New York showed American Photographs and Chapalingas, Solomon's first collection of American photographs to be exhibited in the United States in several decades.

Solomon's photographs are in the collections of over 50 museums. Her work has been shown in 30 solo exhibitions and in 75 group exhibitions. Over the years Solomon has been represented by Sepia International Inc., the Neikrug Gallery, Light Gallery, Lieberman and Saul, Rick Wester, Steven Kasher, the Foley Gallery, and Zabriskie in Paris, among others. Currently, Solomon is represented by the Bruce Silverstein in New York.



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