Fritz Awarded Best of ASMP 2013

ASMP Best of 2013

This month I was awarded one of the coveted Best of ASMP awards for 2013. The American Society of Media Photographers is the gold standard for photographers working in commercial and editorial photography, so it’s a real honor to be named to one of the top spots.

The award was featured in the ASMP magazine, as well as in an extensive interview online.  View the print magazine feature, and read the online interview, about my projects Astra Velum and Skeleton in the Closet.

Historic Process/Contemporary Visions at Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami

Asia

 

HISTORIC PROCESS / CONTEMPORARY VISIONS
Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami

 

JUNE 8 – AUGUST 31, 2013

 

Dina Mitrani Gallery is pleased to present Historic Process/Contemporary Visions, a group show of artists working with alternative processes to make photographic images.  These methods include early 19th century techniques such as daguerrotype, wet plate collodion, cyanotypes, platinum prints and photogravures.  The making of these prints can be time consuming, labor intensive, and at times toxic. The manual aspect of many of these processes also creates an element of chance, giving each image unique characteristics.

 

Artists included in this exhibition are Curtis Wehrfritz, Erin Malone, Fritz Liedtke, Gloria O’Connell, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Ken Lyon, Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, Lisa Blair, Rachel Phillips and Rafael Balcazar.

 

In this digital age, there has been a resurgence of artists working with these “hand-made” methods.  Currently the standard analog photographic printing process is the gelatin-silver print, and the standard digital processes are the pigment print and the digital laser exposure on traditional color light sensitive paper. The works in this exhibition are examples of how contemporary artists are rediscovering and using historic methods to make photographs, as well as applying new technologies and practices to these techniques.

 

Dina Mitrani Gallery opened in November 2008 and specializes in international contemporary photography. The gallery represents emerging and mid-career artists, offers artists talks and lectures on photography as well as photo-based books and objects. The gallery is committed to promoting its artists, as well as working with independent curators to produce unique group exhibitions.

On the Experience of Opening a Book

FritzLiedtke-AV Book-008

When I was in my teens, I remember picking up a Zane Gray novel from my grandparents’ bookshelf.   I remember thinking to myself, “This book is solid; it is the perfect size and weight.”  The heft of it in my hand, the embossed hardcover, the deckled edges of the paper, the lightly embossed text…it was perfect.  It was the first time I’d thought of a book as something more than just a medium for words.

Over the years, I’ve designed a few hundred books for clients, and for myself.  I’ve also made a few handmade books in art classes.  But more recently, having seen handmade books by Lauren Henkin, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Laura Russell, and others, it dawned on me that there was more to explore in the medium of book arts.

Inspired by this, I created several hand-carved antique books, repurposing old books with my own images and imagination.  I had a similar feeling in picking them up as I did with the Zane Gray book: they felt good in my hand.  And inside the covers, they were full of surprises.

* * *

In thinking about fine art photography books, both the form and the content should matter.  Most press printed photography books are plain books, with pictures and words printed in them.  The form is bland, and has little to do with the content.  On the other hand, artist books often feature innovative book forms, but the content on the pages is weak or lacks cohesion and purpose.

With Astra Velum, I wanted to create a book in which both the content and the form are meaningful, beautiful, and solid.  If you consider the various elements that compose the book, you’ll notice the thought put into them.  The custom cover paper references stars in the night sky—just as the title Astra Velum is Latin for ‘veil of stars’, itself a reference to the constellations of freckles on these faces.  Each piece of cover paper is uniquely textured and speckled, just as each face is unique.  The essay text, embossed with warm inks into the paper, is reminiscent of the texture of warm freckles on flawed skin.  The intimacy of the portraits themselves is heightened by the fact that you are holding them in your hand, close to your own face.

Ultimately, holding the book in your hands becomes an experience.  More than merely looking at photos on a wall, or reading an essay in a magazine, opening the cover of Astra Velum becomes a way to enter in to the beauty and pain of the women whose stories are captured in the book.

Here is how one recent collector described the experience:

Your Astra Velum artist book and Ella photogravure print arrived a couple hours ago. Since we are experiencing a particularly cold and snowy winter, I removed the contents of the well packed shipping box and placed the individually wrapped book and print on my front room viewing table to allow time to come to room temperature.

I decided to first open the photogravure of Ella. Being unfamiliar with photogravure and understanding you had made adjustments to the process to best reflect your vision, I removed the print from its sleeve and protective covers not knowing what to expect. Well, I was amazed with what was before me. I know it will take many hours of viewing and reflection to begin to truly appreciate Ella, but already I cannot imagine being happier with my acquisition.

Next I picked up the artist book. Its size and heft, rich fabric with sparkles, and Ella’s image showing through the window all witnessed I was holding something special and precious in my hands. The images are stunning and Gina Ochsner’s story brought tears. Although I have only spent a little time examining the book I am touched by the beauty of its images and fullness of its words, not to mention its exquisite craftsmanship.

I am certain I have acquired what will become most treasured possessions.

Blue Sky Announces 2013 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers Program

Velvet Circles

I’m pleased to announce that my series Quite Normal has been juried in to the Blue Sky Viewing Drawers Program.

 

Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, announced the names of 68 artists selected for inclusion in its 2013 Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers Program (“Drawers”).

 

Debuting on First Thursday, April 4, 2013 and coinciding with Portland Photo Month, each artist will be represented by 10 original photographic prints or objects from a single body of work in a dedicated archival, flat file drawer at Blue Sky through March 2014.

 

The complete list of artists selected from more than 160 submissions includes:

 

Bobby Abrahamson * Jody Ake * Nathan Anderson * Adam Bacher
Raymond Bidegain * Scott Binkley * Nancy Butler * Michael Cardiello
Brad Carlile * Adrain Chesser * Teresa Christiansen * Kevin Clark
Larry Clark * Susan de Witt * Hal Gage * Clarke Galusha * Raethel Geary
Richard Gehrke * Nicole Gelinas * Barbara Gilson * Joseph Glasgow
Lauren Grabelle * Edward Hamilton * Kate Harnedy * Stewart Harvey
Zane Healy * Carol Isaak * Ryota Kajita * John Kane * Bob Keefer
 Ann Kendellen * Angelina Kidd * Heidi Kirkpatrick * Tarrah Krajnak
Bonnie Landis * Larry Larsen * Frank Lavelle * Jim Leisy * Stuart Allen Levy
Fritz Liedtke * Jim Lommasson * Stuart McCall * Robbie McClaran
George Olson * Robert Pallesen * Stepanka Peterka * Alexis Pike
David Pollock * Douglas Prior * Christopher Rauschenberg * Mark Reid
Jenny Riffle * Jim Riswold * Rich Rollins * Paul Romaniuk * Michael Sell
Brandon Sorg * Andrew Stanbridge * Travis Stanton * Elizabeth Stone
Mary Stroud * Jonathan Taylor * Michael Van Buskirk * Terri Warpinski
Kevin Wildermuth * David Wyatt * Carol Yarrow * Kristin Zabawa
selected photographers from the Portland Grid Project

 

Jurors Diana Millar and Ed Marquand were equally impressed by the diversity of subject matter as well as the quality of technique apparent among this year’s cohort of artists.

 

“Seeing ten images by each photographer gave us a good idea of a consistency of vision and a sense of breadth of creative ambition. I’m pleased by the group we ended up with, and look forward to seeing the pieces in person. The diversity of approaches, techniques, and artistic interests reveals a rich photo culture in the Northwest–but I’m not going to claim that any Northwest style exists. Dedicated artists doing their work. That’s what these photographers are up to.” – Ed Marquand

 

“While the geographic distribution of the participants covered thousands of miles, ranging from the rough Alaskan tundra, down through the lush green forests of British Columbia and Orgeon, and east to the mountains of Montana, a common theme emerged from many of the photographers who submitted to the Drawers: the exploration of the local. I’m encouraged to see many of the submissions looking at the ‘local,’ their images telling stories that are close to home. By doing so, this invokes a deeper investigation that is rich and deliberate, thus inviting the audience into their world and proving that the still photographic image can still be a powerful storytelling medium.” – Diana Millar

 

About the 2013 jurors:

 

Ed Marquand is Creative Director and President of Marquand Books, a producer of distinctive, award-winning books for museums and art book publishers in the United States and abroad. His museum clients include the American Folk Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian, Dallas Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the High Art Museum. His publishing clients include Abrams, Chronicle Books, Princeton University Press, University of Washington Press, University of California Press, Rizzoli, and Yale University Press. He has written several books, including Hector Acebes, Portraits in Africa 1948-1952, distributed by University of Washington Press, and The Devil’s Mischief, Abbeville Press. He is also the Founder of Mighty Tieton, an incubator for artisan businesses in Tieton, Washington.

 

Diana Millar is the co-owner and gallery director at Lúz Gallery in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In 2009, she co-founded Lúz with her partner, photographer Quinton Gordon. As director of the gallery, she has hosted and supported exhibitions by both emerging and established international artists including the featured artists from Diffusion IV. In the fall of 2012, Diana and Quinton will expand their vision and open Lúz Studio, which will bring the gallery, workshops and an open studio under one roof. Their new studio and gallery will also be the home of Reciprocity Editions, a small imprint owned by Millar and Gordon, with a focus on creating fine press and handmade artists books. Millar was a reviewer at Photolucida’s Portfolio Reviews in 2011 and PhotoNOLA in 2012. She has served on public art selection committees, and as a juror for numerous exhibitions including Critical Mass 2011 and 2012.

 

About the Drawers:

 

Blue Sky established the Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers program in 2007 to feature a juried, public archive of original prints by contemporary photographers based in the region. Visitors to Blue Sky’s galleries in Portland are welcome to enjoy work in the Drawers by simply opening any one of the flat file drawers, or by asking the Gallery Attendant for assistance. The Drawers program has quickly become a favorite aspect of Blue Sky’s ongoing programming, available to approximately 20,000 visitors annually. For 2012, to coincide with the newly inaugurated Portland Photo Month (every April), Blue Sky expanded the geographic scope of the Drawers to include photographers from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska. Artists provide prices for all prints that are for sale.
Blue Sky Gallery
122 NW 8th
Portland, Oregon 97209
Noon – 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday
(503) 225-0210

bluesky@blueskygallery.org

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Astra Velum on the cover of LensWork Magazine

FritzLiedtke-LensworkMagazine

The January-February 2013 issue of LensWork Magazine features the Astra Velum series.  With an 22-page spread of images, and an interview with publisher Brooks Jensen, it’s a beautiful presentation of the series, my thinking behind the series, and much more.

LensWork is well know as having the finest black and white reproductions in the publishing industry, as well as thoughtful interviews, essays, and other projects.  Pick up your copy today at LensWork Magazine.

You can also get the Extended Version DVD, which includes more images, more text, and the full audio interview between Brooks and myself.

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Featured in Professional Photographer Magazine

“Fritz Liedtke: Contemporary Photography Balanced by a Bohemian Lifestyle”

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been called a Bohemian….

The new issue of Professional Photographer (December 2012) features an 8 page article on my balance of fine art and commercial photography.

“What’s most valuable to
me is my time. And with
that time I can make art, be
with my family, and travel.
I just didn’t want to get
caught up in a life where
I’m working 60 hours a
week and waiting until I
retire to have fun and make
work that’s personal.”

The article talks all about this and more.  You can read a pdf of the article online.

A second, one-page feature also gives a glimpse into some of my favorite photographic tools, including the Lensbaby Edge 80, Lightroom, my 4×5 field camera, and more.  Pick up a copy today!

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  • Cann’t believe it’s true &##830;&88230;…ࢶ.but i have to believe you didn’t come up with this in a couple of hours.I know, i know, life is much more ………From the bottom of my heart wish you good luck and much much happines AND time.

Featured in The Norton Mix

Recently an editor from WW Norton contacted me, to request permission to use one of my images in their new textbook, The Norton Mix.  Having used many WW Norton textbooks in school, I had visions of college students poring over my image, looking at every detail, answering a list of study questions, and cramming for an exam.  And…that is exactly what they’ll be doing.

The editor included an image from my Welcome to Wonderland series (the image “Hose”), complete with an introduction, and a page of study questions.  Awesome.  I’m going to be an answer on Harvard’s freshman lit class tests….

 

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Introducing the Astra Velum Limited Edition Artist Book

In 2011, when the hand-printed photogravures of the Astra Velum series were first introduced, collectors and curators were enthusiastic. As Melanie McWhorter of Photo-Eye Books wrote, “These lovely, luminescent, one-of-a-kind prints really must be seen to be appreciated.” Susan Burnstine wrote in Black and White Magazine, “Fritz Liedtke’s stunning photogravure portfolio Astra Velum is a remarkable achievement.”

Over the past year, I’ve worked on creating a handmade book of the series, and I’m very pleased to present the Astra Velum Limited Edition Artist Book. I’ve collaborated with author Gina Ochsner, whose writings have garnered Guggenheim and NEA grants, as well as the Flannery O’Connor Prize and Oregon Book Award, and are published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Glimmertrain and the Kenyon Review. She’s written a poignant essay to accompany the work. And I’ve worked closely with bookmaker Rory Sparks, who’s created other award-winning books for the likes of Lauren Henkin, Raymond Meeks, and Deborah Luster.

FritzLiedtke-AV Book-009-2

Together, we’ve created more than just another book of words and pictures, but a work of art in itself. The way the cover shimmers in the light, the text deeply embedded in the page, the richness of the images…it’s something that feels solid in your hands, but also moves deep into your heart.

The book is limited to an edition of only 25 copies. Additional options, such as the custom clamshell case, and the inclusion of a photogravure print, are also available. You can lean much more on the website.

I’m pleased to offer the first 5 purchasers a free print from the book as a gift. Click here to purchase your book today.

Feel free to write or call with inquiries. We look forward to adding the book to your collection.

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Astra Velum in Diffusion Magazine

The new issue of Diffusion magazine, Vol IV., includes a spread of images from the Astra Velum series, in their conversation about hand-crafted photography.  The Artist Hand Invitational section includes work by a number of talented artists, that I’m honored to be listed among:

HAND-CRAFTED INVITATIONAL

  • Jody Ake
  • S. Gayle Stevens
  • Heidi Kirkpatrick
  • Bryan David Griffith
  • Hiroshi Hayakawa
  • Fritz Liedtke
  • Ray Bidegain
  • Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman
  • Anna Low
  • Corinne Perry
  • Beth Devillier
  • Rachel Wolf
  • Dan Herrera

Diffusion is a beautiful, thoughtful magazine of unconventional photography, published annually.  It’s worth having; order your copy today.

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