This comprehensive survey and reexamination of the iconoclast photographer-poet, Clarence John Laughlin, follows the over 250 museum and university gallery exhibitions mounted during his lifetime. The exhibition includes over 60 of the artist’s seminal and most important images.
Laughlin’s fiercely independent vision pioneered the use of the camera as a tool for creative and artistic expression during a time when the photographic image was used primarily as document. He introduced a third world of photography to a young medium seeking to expand its presence and find its place in popular culture.
The photographs in the exhibition represent examples from most of the 23 groups into which Laughlin categorized his work. Yet they only hint at the breadth and scope of his output of over 17,000 negatives. Laughlin’s work exhorts us to use our imagination and curiosity to find and experience the link between our physical and spiritual worlds. The exhibition sheds new light on how wide Laughlin’s Third World of Photography can open the doors onto a far more human world by revealing the depth and mystery just under the surface of our everyday lives.