Sale of Robert Stivers photos and books
In the photography of Robert Stivers, a gesture can seem symbolic and an object can convey ambiguity, even mystery. In The Art of Ruin, his book of photographs just released by Twin Palms Publishers, Stivers examines themes of communication and communication breakdown through imagery that is reminiscent of the Symbolist and Pictorial photos of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As part of his investigation, Stivers explores the entropy of forms, whether they’re dissipating, ghostly human ones or those of the outmoded technologies and instruments once used for communicating — an antique typewriter, for instance. The photographer evokes a past whose loss is keenly felt, as in a fading memory; conversely, his works can suggest that a memory has been rediscovered. His darkroom practice of manipulating and blurring the sharp focus of photographic negatives allows Stivers to portray these conceits with haunting drama.
The artist opens his studio for a sale of his books and photographs and to sign books on Friday, April 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. The sale includes prints dating from 1987 to the present. In addition to The Art of Ruin, his books include Robert Stivers: Photographs (1997), Listening to Cement (2000),
Sestina (2003), and Sanctum (2006). The sale continues Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, from noon to 5 p.m., with additional appointments accepted by phone (505-670-1450). Stivers’ studio is located at 1010 Marquez Place Lofts, Suite 108-B.
Robert Stivers: Lauren, 2014, gelatin silver print