Richard Learoyd: In the Studio

Exhibition Website

Feb 10 2017 - Jun 11 2017

This exhibition features a striking selection of large-scale color photographs by acclaimed contemporary photographer Richard Learoyd. The contemplative mood and exquisite detail of his portraits, figure studies, and still lifes, create an uncanny sense of intimacy between subject and viewer.

Working in his East London studio, Learoyd utilizes a room-sized camera obscura with a fixed lens to make unique direct-positive prints. Pared to the essential components of making a photograph—a dark chamber fitted with a lens, sensitized paper, and light—his labor-intensive process is closely associated with the early history of the medium.

Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether you go or not, Richard Learoyd: Day for Night, is a deluxe, oversized monograph offering the most comprehensive collection of British photographer Richard Learoyd's (born 1966) color studio images to date--mostly portraits, but also including a handful of exquisite still lifes. The color images are made with one of the most antiquarian of photographic processes: the camera obscura, literally translated from Latin as "dark room." Learoyd has created a room-sized camera in which the Cibachrome photographic paper is exposed. The subject is in the adjacent room, separated by a lens. Light falling on the subject is directly focused onto the photographic paper without an interposing film negative. The result is a perfectly clear, entirely grainless, larger-than-life image. Learoyd's subjects, composed simply and directly, are described with the thinnest plane of focus, recreating and exaggerating the way that the human eye perceives; the images recall Dutch Master paintings in tone and composition.

This volume includes more than 150 images, reproduced with the utmost care to capture the luminosity of the originals. It also includes an artist statement by Learoyd; a statement by Nancy Gryspeerdt, one of his subjects; and a text by Martin Barnes, curator of the first solo exhibition of the artist's work at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

  • Photography
  • British
  • Contemporary
  • Portrait
  • Richard Learoyd

Exhibition Venues & Dates