Robert Asman: Silver Mine is a retrospective exhibition of an exceptional photographic career characterized by idiosyncratic experimentation with the bounds of black and white photography. Robert Asman is one of the most important photographers of his generation. For most of the last thirty-five years Asman (Asheville, NC) has been devoted to investigating and stretching the conceptual and technical boundaries of silver prints, through extended, and related, explorations of the human figure and the urban landscape. His masterful manipulation of chemistry and paper negatives has resulted in a seemingly boundless and wondrous body of work. Asman approaches art making as a transformative process, in which he mines the physical properties of his materials to create a work on paper which are seemingly the result of alchemical change. Process and image are completely merged, and result in images ranging from the sublimely beautiful to the fetishized or the startlingly violent, though often conveying an ironic humor. The Print Center
presents this exhibition at a critical moment for examining process driven work, as the integration of digital technologies into art making are causing artists to revisit traditional photographic processes.
Robert Asman was born in Washington, D.C. He received a BA from Catholic University, Washington, D.C. in 1973 and an MFA from the renowned photography program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY in 1975. After a brief return to Washington, Asman lived for thirty years in Philadelphia were he taught photography at Moore College of Art & Design, Drexel University, University of the Arts and University of Pennsylvania, in addition to working as a fine art photographer and a running a commercial black and white printing lab. His career has been marked by several honors, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group exhibitions including at the ICA, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; West Chester University, West Chester, PA; Galerie Paviot, Paris; National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania; Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia; and The Print Center. Asmans work is found in numerous permanent collections, including Arcadia University, Glenside, PA; Haverford College, Haverford, PA; Free Library of Philadelphia; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. and The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA.
The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Spungen, the Executive Director of The Print Center. In her five year tenure at The Print Center, Spungen has also curated exhibitions of the work of Doug and Mike Starn (2007) and Masao Yamamoto (2008).