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Thread: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

  1. #1
    Corran's Avatar
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    Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    This past weekend I saw an amazing retrospective of Clarence John Laughlin's photography at the High here in Atlanta (sadly, it is closed as of Sunday). I was actually there to see the big Sally Mann show but I frankly enjoyed CJL's work more.

    I will admit I'd never heard of him, so if you are in the same boat, you should check out the online gallery of the permanent collection at the High here:

    https://high.org/highlights/clarence-john-laughlin/

    I was especially interested in his images from New Orleans, as well as the multi-exposure architectural images!
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    Wow!

    I see what you mean, "he Staircase as Masks"
    sin eater

  3. #3
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    He is, obviously, is a big influence here in New Orleans. I know quite a few photographers just a few years older than me who actually knew him and attended his salons. Check out a very good bio by A.J. Meek, a photographer himself (8x20) who started the photo program at LSU: http://www.ajmeek.com/book_clarence_...in_reviews.htm.

    The New Orleans Photo Alliance has a grant named in honor of Laughlin: https://neworleansphotoalliance.org/...aughlin-award/

    And, lastly, David Armentor and I, under the auspices of St. Veronicas Photography, have created a portfolio of Laughlin objects that we will be selling in order to help Longue Vue House and Gardens raise the necessary funds to get the darkroom that Laughlin used back into service: https://stveronicasphotography.com/cjldarkroom.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it to Atlanta to see the exhibition.

  4. #4
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    Thanks for the links, I will definitely check them out.

    I found an older copy of "Ghosts Along the Mississippi" on eBay, sans dust jacket, for very cheap, like 1/10th the average price I've seen (the High had no books of his work available). Any other books I should be on the lookout for? I see several copies of "Personal Eye" available for not much money.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    I found a few of his books on Abebooks, gotta wait for the next paycheck

    Today got a 1966 Photographer's Mate 3 & 2 for light reading of it's 644 pages! Abebooks $10 delivered, name rank and serial # obliterated.
    sin eater

  6. #6
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    Thanks, I see Abe is cheaper on average. I will need to remember that. I got a steal on the Ghosts book though it seems ($12). I guess a missing dust jacket kills value.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
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  7. #7

    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Bennett View Post
    He is, obviously, is a big influence here in New Orleans. I know quite a few photographers just a few years older than me who actually knew him and attended his salons. Check out a very good bio by A.J. Meek, a photographer himself (8x20) who started the photo program at LSU: http://www.ajmeek.com/book_clarence_...in_reviews.htm.

    The New Orleans Photo Alliance has a grant named in honor of Laughlin: https://neworleansphotoalliance.org/...aughlin-award/

    And, lastly, David Armentor and I, under the auspices of St. Veronicas Photography, have created a portfolio of Laughlin objects that we will be selling in order to help Longue Vue House and Gardens raise the necessary funds to get the darkroom that Laughlin used back into service: https://stveronicasphotography.com/cjldarkroom.

    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it to Atlanta to see the exhibition.
    Sally uses wet plate...he used film I imagine
    Two different viewpoints

  8. #8
    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    There was a great exhibit a few years ago at The Historic New Orleans Collection (who have the Laughlin photo archive) about his correspondence with other photographers.

    https://www.hnoc.org/exhibitions/cla...thousand-words

    "...photographers with whom Laughlin exchanged images include Imogen Cunningham, Wynn Bullock, Edward Weston, Carlotta Corpron, and Brassaï. Individually, the images and letters offer glimpses into the minds of major figures in 20th-century photography. Together, they reveal Laughlin—who imagined himself working in artistic exile in New Orleans—to have been actively engaged (though not always in step) with national and international photographic trends throughout his life."

    There are a couple of documentary films about Laughlin: https://www.hnoc.org/events/clarence...double-feature

    Once you go down the Laughlin rabbit hole you may never come back.

  9. #9
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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    I would expect New Orleans had an unusual photographer

    At least one video is here, https://youtu.be/vVZUJqidwBU
    sin eater

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    Re: Clarence John Laughlin - Father of American Surrealism

    This takes me back. I first heard of Clarence Laughlin in the early 1950's from Dody Weston. Clarence had photographed her as a teenager in New Orleans where she was born. Later, in 1959, I visited Dody's mother in New Orleans and learned more about her friend Clarence and his work.

    I enjoy looking at his photographs. Edward (Weston) was not a fan; however, Imogen more so with her own multiple negative prints, and her deviation from the f.64 school.

    Thanks for bringing to our attention the important work of Clarence Laughlin.

    Dody was eighteen when the photo below was made.



    http://bid.igavelauctions.com/Biddin...n_uid1=2770725

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