January 2017 Artist in Residence: Ken Rosenthal

Trail  from series  The Forest , 2011-2014

Trail from series The Forest, 2011-2014

This month, we are welcoming Ken Rosenthal as our Artist in Residence! 

Ken Rosenthal received a BA in still photography from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, and a MFA in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. His artwork is represented in the US by KLOMPCHING Gallery, New York;  Etherton Gallery, Tucson; Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe; Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco. 

Rosenthal’s photographs are in many public and private collections internationally including The George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Art Institute of Chicago; National Portrait Gallery, London; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and the Wittliff Collections’ Southwest and Mexican Photography Collection, San Marcos, Texas, which recently established a major collection of his work.

The first publication of Rosenthal’s work, Ken Rosenthal : Photographs 2001-2009, was released in 2011. Photographs 2001-2009 was included on photo-eye’s Best Books of 2011 list. A hardbound limited edition of 50 with two toned silver gelatin prints, designed and produced by Cloverleaf Press, was released in 2012 and is now out of print.

Read our Q & A with Ken to get some insight into his practice.

You have a distinct process of creating diffused prints in your work. How has you process informed your work, and how have you moved to new bodies of work from this process?

I began utilizing diffusion in my process in 2001, when i began my series Seen and Not Seen, and continued using it for the five subsequent series I released. The technique was appropriate for those series, which explored issues of personal and collective memory, and the relationship between memory and photography. As I completed this work, and my focus turned to other interests, this technique was no longer appropriate for the new work I was developing. Working for a long period of time with a distinctive process created challenges, as I had established an audience for my work but was uncertain how that audience would accept a major formal shift. Ultimately, the most important thing was to make the work that I needed to make to continue moving forward creatively.

How do you feel you utilize narrative in your work?

Ultimately, I suppose to tell my story. All of my work is autobiographical, though that is not necessarily immediately apparent at first glance. Each series is a journey, with trails leading in several directions. I try not to force my own narrative too strongly either, visually or through titles and statement. Those are guides, but I want there to be space for viewers to fill in some pieces.

What will you be working on during your residency at LATITUDE?

I will be editing, proofing, and producing the first prints from a new series in progress that I have been working on for the past year and a half. I’ll also be printing some images from my most recently completed series, The Forest. Time permitting, I’ll be making some prints from a book I’ll be self-publishing later this year, titled Days On The Mountain.


AIR 2017Colleen Keihm