Swanson Contemporary will display photographs by Bob Hower and Bill Carner in the show Underground and Over the Sea.
Bob Hower is a Louisville photographer who was born in Boston in 1947 and graduated from Middlebury College. His career includes 2 grants from the Ohio Arts Council and an Individual Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The International Center of Photography, The National Museum of American Art, The Kentucky Historical Society, and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, among others. He was a photographer for the Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project during the mid-1970s, and is probably best known for his large format industrial landscapes and portraits.
“It’s been my great pleasure and privilege to have photographed in and around coal mines for the past 35 years or so. I first went underground in 1975 in Eastern Kentucky while working on the Kentucky Documentary Project, and while I was thrilled by the experience, I was completely frustrated by the technical difficulty of trying to see and photograph underground in the dark. My next trip underground was in the 1980’s outside Price, Utah on a commercial assignment, and this time I was better prepared and more experienced. I went in with a second photographer, bricks of film, a half dozen or so battery powered flash units, light stands, umbrellas, radio triggers, and boxes of medium format B&W Polaroid film. The results were better, but the degree of difficulty and the level of frustration remained high (I still had to spend a lot of time trying to decipher Polaroid test prints by the light of a miners lamp.) Nowadays, the technical part has gotten a lot easier (not easy, but easier) and the politics more heated, but the thrill of going underground has never ceased. Coal miners are a closely-knit and special breed of people, and they work in a world very few people know about or understand. My pictures are an effort to tell something about this world.”
Bob Hower: 502-930-1473, firstname.lastname@example.org
“I went to Paris in hopes of harvesting some of the “decisive moments” left on the streets since Henri Cartier-Bresson put his Leica on the shelf in 1974. The strict French privacy laws and the Parisians’ hyper-awareness of the presence of a camera anywhere in their vicinity made this difficult at first but as the confidence I had in the past returned I was able to photograph unnoticed or at least tolerated and start making the kind of photographs I came to Paris looking for.”
Bill Carner studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960’s and later with C. J. Pressma at the Center for Photographic Studies in Louisville. He was the Photo Wrangler at the University of Louisville Photographic Archives for 34 years until he retired in 2012. Since retiring he has been making new photographs and wrangling his own archive of photographs from the past 50 years.