Bill Ferris'S "The South in Color" Exhibit Opens in Jackson, Mississippi

Bill Ferris
The South in Color
Opening Reception & Book Signing
Friday, August 18, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Fischer Galleries @ Event Space 119, 119 S. President Street, Jackson, Mississippi

Bill Ferris, who is the Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be on hand tonight at the opening for his exhibition, The South in Color, at Fischer Galleries in Jackson, Mississippi. Lemuria Books will have available copies of The South In Color (published by the University of North Carolina Press) for purchase. The artist will be present to sign books and talk about his work. 

William-Ferris-Unidentified-man-and-woman_-Lorman_-MS-1974.jpg

William Ferris was born and raised on his family's farm in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Since the moment William Ferris's parents gave their twelve-year-old son a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera for Christmas in 1954, Ferris passionately began to photograph his world. He has never stopped. The sixties and seventies were a particularly significant period for Ferris as he became a pathbreaking documentarian of the American South. This beautiful, provocative collection of Ferris's photographs of the South, taken during this formative period, capture the power of his color photography. Color film, as Ferris points out in the book's introduction, was not commonly used by documentarians during the latter half of the twentieth century, but Ferris found color to work in significant ways in the photographic journals he created of his world in all its permutations and surprises.

 

Margaret Sartor Contributes to New William Gedney Book

Margaret Sartor, whose own photographic work is represented by Ann Stewart Fine Art, has recently returned from the exhibition opening of the Willian Gedney retrospective in France connected to the book she contributed to. The show, William Gedney: Only the Lonely, 1955–1984, opened June 28 and is on view through September 17, 2017 at the Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier.

Mysterious, introspective, fiercely private, and self-taught, street photographer William Gedney (1932–1989) produced impressive series of images focused on people whose lives were overlooked, hidden, or reduced to stereotypes. He was convinced that photography was a means of expression as efficient as literature, and his images were accompanied by writings, essays, excerpts from books, and aphorisms. Gedney avoided self-promotion, and his underrepresented work was largely unknown during his short lifetime. He died at the age of fifty-six from AIDS.



William Gedney: Only the Lonely, 1955–1984 is the first comprehensive retrospective of his photography. It presents images from all of his major series, including eastern Kentucky, where Gedney lived with and photographed the family of laid-off coal miner Willie Cornett; San Francisco and Haight-Ashbury, where he attached himself to a group of disaffected youth, photographing them as they drifted from one vacant apartment to the next during the “Summer of Love”; early photo-reportage of gay pride parades in the eighties; Benares, India, Gedney’s first trip abroad, during which he obsessively chronicled the concurrent difficulty and beauty of daily life; and night scenes that, in the absence of people and movement, evoke a profound universal loneliness. The most complete overview of Gedney’s work to date, this volume reveals the undeniable beauty of a major American photographer.

The publication associated with the exhibition is written by Gilles Mora with Margaret Sartor and Lisa McCarty. The exhibition is curated by Gilles Mora.


no known title, 1966–1967. William Gedney Photographs and Papers courtesy of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

no known title, 1966–1967. William Gedney Photographs and Papers courtesy of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


Margaret Sartor is a writer, photographer, and curator. She teaches documentary photography at Duke University and is the coeditor with Geoff Dyer of What Was True: The Photographs and Notes of William Gedney.

Gilles Mora has been the editor in chief of the magazine Les Cahiers de la Photographie, an editor with Éditions du Seuil in Paris, and the artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles. Currently he is the director of the city of Montpellier’s Pavillon Populaire. He was awarded the Nadar Prize for the Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies.

Lisa McCarty is curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University and is in charge of the William Gedney archives there.

PRESS COVERAGE

“De New York au Kentucky, William Gedney a immortalisé les États-Unis avec sensibilité.” Cheese. By Lise Lanot. July 13, 2017.

“William Gedney « Only the Lonely » à Montpellier.” En Revenant de l’Expo. July 12, 2017.