Mixed Me­dia

Sale of Robert Stivers pho­tos and books

Pasatiempo - - NEWS - — Michael Abatemarco

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

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