Exhibition: George Tice at Point Light Gallery Sydney
‘It takes the passage of time before an image of a commonplace subject can be assessed. The great difficulty of what I attempt is seeing beyond the moment; the everydayness of life gets in the way of the eternal.’ George Tice
George Tice, born in 1938 in Newark, New Jersey, is one of the most prominent fine-art photographers in the United States. His body of work has continually focused on the American landscape. He began photographing at the age of 14, when, on the advice of a teacher, he joined the Carteret Camera Club. A turning point in his training happened two years later, when a professional photographer critiquing a club members’ work praised his picture of an alleyway. Tice briefly studied commercial photography at Newark Vocational and Technical High School. At sixteen he left high school to work as a darkroom assistant for a Newark portrait studio. A year later he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a photographer’s mate. In 1959, a published image he made of an explosion aboard the USS Wasp caught the eye of photographer Edward Steichen, who as director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, acquired the print for the museum’s collection. Especially well known as a master printer, Tice printed for artists like Edward Steichen as well as printing the portfolios of such artists as Frederick H. Evans and Edward Weston.
For the next decade, Tice worked as a portrait photographer and helped to establish The Witkin Gallery. His initial success allowed him to concentrate on personal projects. In the 1960s, Tice shifted from smaller camera formats to larger ones, which enabled him to craft carefully detailed prints. When George Tice moved from professional to personal work, he turned his lens to the American urban and rural landscapes, attempting to capture the spirit of the place. Self-taught in the use of the view camera, Tice began photographing the Amish communities of Pennsylvania, a region close to where he grew up. One of his series focused on Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which depicted the daily life of the Amish people and their integration with the landscape around them. Tice frequently returned to this area of Pennsylvania and over a span of eight years he produced his well-known photo-essay on the Amish and Mennonite communities. Tice’s other work features the architectural and industrial motifs that identify American Society. In 1969, Tice was included in the opening group show at the Witkin Gallery that set a precedent for other photographic gallery exhibitions.
Point Light, Sydney
21 November – 22 December 2013
Documentary on George Tice: