Fraenkel Gallery publishes book of images by Richard Learoyd

Photo copyright by Richard Learoyd
Photo copyright by Richard Learoyd
Photo copyright by Richard Learoyd
Photo copyright by Richard Learoyd

The following is a press release from Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco about their show called RICHARD LEAROYD: Presences. Unfortunately the show ended June 25, 2011 and I was not aware of the show in time to inform the readers of this blog. However, Fraenkel Gallery has published a catalog of the images in the show. I have a personal copy of the beautifully printed catalog which may still be available by contacting Fraenkel Gallery. Contact information is provided below.

Historical note: The camera obscura was known to Leonardo da Vinci who remarked on it in 1490. The principles of the pinhole camera and camera obscura date to at least the 4th century BC.

Press Release:

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present its first exhibition of photographs by the British artist Richard Learoyd. The works will be on view from May 5 to June 25, 2011. Learoyd’s minutely detailed, large-scale color portraits do not look like other photographs.

Made with a giant camera comprised of two rooms, Learoyd’s subject (generally a person, though sometimes an object such as a mirror) occupies one room containing a powerful light source, while the photographic paper occupies the adjacent camera obscura (“dark room” in Latin). Connecting the two rooms is a lens set within a bellows – an accordion-like contraption dating from the medium’s first century.

 Learoyd’s pictures are unique direct-positive images produced without a negative. The photographs on view are images made by the direct record of light reflecting from the subject to the photographic paper, yielding portraits of unsettling psychological intensity.

Learoyd was born in 1966 in Lancashire, England , and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He lives and works in London. His photographs have recently been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

Fraenkel Gallery is located at 49 Geary Street, 4th floor, San Francisco. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm, & Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

For further information, please contact Carin Johnson at 415.981.2661 or


By Jim McKinniss

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