Center For the Arts CFA

Wesleyan University's Davison Art Center presents "Philip Trager: Photographing Ina" March 25 through May 22

Monday, March 14, 2016 - Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wesleyan University's Davison Art Center presents "Philip Trager: Photographing Ina" March 25 through May 22

Wesleyan University's Davison Art Center presents
"Philip Trager: Photographing Ina"
Friday, March 25 through Sunday, May 22, 2016

Middletown, Conn.—Wesleyan University's Davison Art Center presents the exhibition Philip Trager: Photographing Ina from Friday, March 25 through Sunday, May 22, 2016. The exhibition coincides with the publication by Steidl in May 2016 of the book "Photographing Ina." The exhibition, like the book, has two parts. The first is a series of immaculately composed black-and-white photographs taken in the 1980s, after 25 years of marriage. The second part, taken in the last decade after 50 years of marriage, reveals Trager's new color photography—an unexpected and tender meditation on the act of photographing, on perception, color, and light.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Thursday, March 24, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm at the Davison Art Center, located at 301 High Street on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, Connecticut. There will be a conversation at 5:30 p.m. between artist Philip Trager '56 and Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, Professor and Chair of Classical Studies Andrew Szegedy-Maszak. The opening reception is free.

About the Exhibition
The earlier photographs in the exhibition, all in black and white, were created in the 1980s. These crisp, modernist images are closely cropped, with precise attention to form and pattern. Although these are photographs of one individual, Ina Trager, the clarity and formal precision present her as an archetype of a woman in her middle years. The more recent color digital photographs from the last decade open up the view to include her surroundings, and these images playfully acknowledge the photographer, who is visible in the many mirrors in the series. The modernist construction of the first series gives way to the theatricality of overtly posed color images.

Several male photographers are known for their images of their wives. These couples include Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, Harry and Eleanor Callahan, and Emmet and Edith Gowin. Producing this work required ongoing collaboration and understanding between artist and model; but unlike many of his predecessors, Trager photographed Ina only at two distinctly different moments in their lives together, and he chose formal poses rather than immediate records of everyday life. The trust and tender connection between Philip and Ina Trager made it possible for Philip to create these moving portraits; yet the moving effect of these photographs is based on his skill and their precision as records of light, form, and color.

"Photographing Ina" is forthcoming from Steidl in May 2016 with an essay by Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, distributed in the United States by Artbook | D.A.P. Hardback/clothbound; 8 x 10 in.; 76 pages; 31 color and 20
black-and-white illustrations.

About the Artist
Philip Trager is one of the foremost photographers of architecture and dance. He has published twelve monographs of his photographs including New York in the 1970s (also forthcoming from Steidl in 2016). He has
exhibited extensively, including selected solo shows at The National Building Museum (in cooperation with the Library of Congress), Washington, D.C.; the New York Public Library, New York; Jacob's Pillow, Becket, Massachusetts; and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Trager's work is held by numerous museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, The
Phillips Collection, and The Bibliotheque National in Paris. A definitive archive of his work was acquired by the Library of Congress. The Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, holds a complete archive of
Trager's published photographs.

About The Davison Art Center
The Davison Art Center was established at Wesleyan University with the founding gifts of George Willets Davison (B.A. Wesleyan 1892). Today it holds approximately 18,000 prints and 6,000 photographs in one of the
foremost collections of prints and photographs at an American college or university. Gallery hours for the Davison Art Center are Tuesday through Sunday from Noon to 4pm (closed Mondays). The gallery is open to the public free of charge. For more information about the Davison Art Center, please call (860) 685-2500 or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/dac.

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut