b. 1966, United Kingdom

Richard Learoyd Biography

Richard Learoyd's color images are made with one of the most antiquarian of photographic processes: the camera obscura. Literally translated from Latin as "dark room," Learoyd has created a room-sized camera in which the photographic paper is exposed. The subject—often a person, sometimes a still life—is in the adjacent room, separated by a lens. Light falling on the subject is directly focused onto the photographic paper without an interposing film negative. The result is an entirely grainless image. The overall sense of these larger-than-life images redefines the photographic illusion. Learoyd's subjects, composed simply and directly, are described with the thinnest plane of focus, re-creating and exaggerating the way that the human eye perceives, and not without a small acknowledgement to Dutch Master painting.

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Learoyd's black-and-white gelatin silver contact prints are made using the negative/positive process invented roughly 170 years ago by Englishman W. H. Fox Talbot. Working with a large and portable camera obscura of his own construction, Learoyd has journeyed outside of his London studio, into the art-historically rich English countryside, along the California coast, and throughout Eastern Europe, producing images that have long been latent in his imagination. The negatives are up to 80 inches wide, resulting in the largest gelatin-silver contact prints ever made.

In 2015, Aperture released Richard Learoyd: Day for Night, a comprehensive book of color portraits and studio work, and concurrently, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London mounted a his first solo museum exhibition, Dark Mirror. In 2016, the J. Paul Getty Museum opened a solo exhibition of his large-scale portrait and still-life photographs, which then traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 2019, a survey exhibition opened at Fundación MAPFRE in Spain, later traveling to the Fotomuseum der Haag.

Learoyd's work is included in the collections of The Getty, Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum, Centre Pompidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum, National Gallery of Canada, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others.

Text courtesy Fraenkel Gallery.

Richard Learoyd Featured Artworks

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Three part floral by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography, print
Richard Learoyd Three part floral, 2020 Three unique Ilfochrome photographs
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
Empty mirror by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Empty mirror, 2009 Unique Ilfochrome photograph
50.8 x 41.3 cm
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
Female nude with mirror by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Female nude with mirror, 2016 Unique Ilfochrome photograph
121.9 x 167.6 cm
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
Melanie in kimono by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Melanie in kimono, 2016 Unique Ilfochrome photograph
163.8 x 121.9 cm
Fraenkel Gallery Contact Gallery
TBD by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd TBD, 2019 Camera obscura Ilfochrome photograph mounted to aluminium
18 x 21 inches
Pace Gallery
Cecilia by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Cecilia, 2019 Camera obscura Ilfochrome photograph mounted to aluminium
44 x 38 inches
Pace Gallery
Crashed, burned and rolled (2) by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Crashed, burned and rolled (2), 2017 Gelatin silver print on hand coated paper hinged to board
64 x 95 inches
Pace Gallery
Flowers, Day 2 by Richard Learoyd contemporary artwork photography
Richard Learoyd Flowers, Day 2, 2019 Camera obscura Ilfochrome photograph mounted to aluminium
32 x 32 inches
Pace Gallery

Richard Learoyd Recent Exhibitions

Richard Learoyd Represented By

Fraenkel Gallery contemporary art gallery in San Francisco, USA Fraenkel Gallery San Francisco
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in 540 West 25th Street, New York, USA Pace Gallery Beijing, East Hampton, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, Palm Beach, Palo Alto, Seoul

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