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Title

Untitled cloud photograph (no. 707)


Artist

David Stephenson

United States of America, Australia

1955 -


About

Throughout his career, photographer David Stephenson has been drawn to sacred spaces, whether they are sites of religious worship or landscapes that cultivate a sense of the sublime. Stephenson’s affinity with the American New Topographic movement in the 1970s precipitated his fascination with the tradition of landscape photography. Pursuing new ways to represent the land outside the aesthetic strictures of the documentary approach, Stephenson’s work is, according to Australian writer Daniel Palmer, ‘imbued with romantic sensibility’ 1 and confronts philosophical concepts such as the infinite and the unknown with a minimalist sensibility and poetic acuity.

Stephenson’s 1990 cloudscapes serve as an oblique homage to American photographer Alfred Stieglitz’s 1922-1935 series of cloud photographs, ‘Equivalents’, that often excluded identifiable reference points like the horizon line. The clouds in Stephenson’s images become studies of luminous abstract forms. Pockets of light submerged in darkness, these nebulous clouds eschew legibility and evoke allusions to the transcendent and the sublime.

1. Palmer, D. ‘David Stephenson’. In ‘Twelve Australian Photo Artists’ (ed. B French & D Palmer) 168-183. Sydney: Piper Press. 2009 p169


Details


Date

1990


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph, graphite timber frame


Edition

1 from an informal edition of 3


Dimensions

61.9 x 84.8 cm sight; 74.9 x 97.6 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed and dated c. verso frame, black ink "David Stephenson / ... 1990 ..." and l.c. verso image-mount, pencil "David Stephenson 1990".


Credit

Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 2013


Location

Not on display


Accession number

312.2013


Artist information

David Stephenson

Works in the collection

28


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history