Don Gregorio Anton: Not One Alone
Jan 11—Feb 7 2014
Sol Mednick Gallery
Exhibit by photographer and educator Don Gregorio Antón.
In his meticulously constructed black and white photographs, Antón acts as both director and actor, staging highly autobiographical images that function as pages in a visual diary informed by his personal history. Allowing memory to overtake the reality of the medium of photography, Antón delves into the realm of the subconscious, creating images with a performative force that is punctuated by an undercurrent of lyrical mysticism. Engaging in a Jungian psychological mode of artistic creation, one in which the contents of his consciousness are illuminated and interpreted, Antón creates images that transcend the personal and elicit the collective. In “Not One Alone,” Antón maintains that the facts of his life are far less important than his art and ideas. Art has long been his major preoccupation, at least in part because during his childhood it was “forbidden” in his family, dismissed as a useless pursuit. But by the age of 17, he had looked through a camera for the first time and knew he wanted to be a photographer. He asked his father for permission to enroll in a high school photography course, permission that was denied unless he could find a single book by a Chicano photographer. No such book could be found and it was only when the course instructor helped Antón convince his father of the success of Manuel Álvarez Bravo that he was allowed to take the course after all. He told a journalist that he had been influenced by W. Eugene Smith and the Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe, adding, “It was their passion for life rather than their photographs that influenced me.”
He went on to study at Rio Hondo College (Whittier, Calif.) and then at San Francisco State University, where he earned his BA in interdisciplinary creative arts in 1978 and his MA in fine arts in 1980. He is a professor of Art at Humboldt State University in Northern California. Antón was awarded the Freestyle Crystal Apple Teaching Award in 2010, awarded during the national Society for Photographic Education conference, as well as the Excellence in Photographic Education – Teacher of the Year Award from the Santa Fe Center for Visual Arts in 2002. He has shown both nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions at the Getty Museum, LA; Aperture, N.Y.; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, N.Y.; Meridian Gallery, San Francisco; and En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards Exhibition at Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, 2004. Antón’s work is included in such prestigious collections as the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. His work has been published in Nueva Luz 5:2 14:2, as well as its Commemorative Issue in 2001. He resides and works in Arcata, Calif.
The Sol Mednick Gallery offers a year-round regular schedule of exhibitions of contemporary photography. This exhibition is concurrent with "Ben Reynolds: About to Travel" in Gallery 1401 (the Sol Mednick Gallery’s sister space) on the 14th floor of Terra Hall. The UArts Photography program operates both galleries.Terra Hall
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