Text from The Photography Encyclopedia
Uelsmann, Jerry N. (1934-): American surrealist photographer and teacher
Uelsmann's surrealistic body of work is distinguished by its complex and poetic multiple image composition, revealing the extraordinary effects that the process of photography can accommodate. In a review of Uelsmann's 1975 monograph Silver Meditations, the critic Hilton Kramer said Uelsmann was abundantly endowed with "technical mastery and ... flawless confidence in ... the inspired energies of the imagination."
Born in Detroit, he was encouraged to take pictures by his father. He studied photography under Minor White and Ralph Hattersley at the Rochester Institute of Technology (bachelor of fine arts, 1957). His first published photos appeared in Popular Photography magazine's 1957 annual edition. Uelsmann earned a master of science degree at Indiana University in 1958 and a master of fine arts degree at the same institution, where he studied with Henry Holmes Smith. He became an instructor in art at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he has continued teaching as a tenured professor.
Multiple printing became his preferred technique early in his career. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1967 to further explore the possibilities of combining negatives, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1972. His work has been exhibited in one man and group shows in such venues as the George Eastman House, the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, and the National Gallery of Australia. His work is held by numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His work has been published in several monographs, including Uelsmann/Yosemite (1996), Photo Synthesis (1992), and Process and Perception (1985).
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