The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present “Silver and Light,” the premiere exhibition for Ian Ruhter’s work. An opening reception will be held Thursday, October 16th from 7-9 PM. The works will be on view through November 29, 2014. The “Silver and Light” exhibition is the first time Ruhter’s photographs have been made publicly available for acquisition
In the process of losing my way it has taken me on a tremendous journey back to the 1800’s. I have time-traveled the way you would in a dream. Taking me backwards into the future, a future where you paint with silver and light. – Ian Ruhter
After re-discovering, and becoming enamored with, the nineteenth century photographic wet plate collodion process, photographer Ian Ruhter used his life savings to turn an old delivery truck into a giant mobile camera and traveling darkroom. The wet plate collodion process requires an aluminum plate to be coated in silver nitrate, then sensitized, exposed, and developed before the plate dries. These steps have to be executed in under 15 minutes. The process is expensive, laborious, and extremely unpredictable– temperature and moisture affect the chemicals greatly and can alter the developing process and ruin a wet plate. But the results that the wet plate collodion process produce are undeniable– a unique and exceedingly detailed image, with rich tones and an almost three dimensional effect of levels of silver layered on each aluminum plate.
Ian Ruhter’s collodion wet plates honor the traditions of the pioneering California photographers with images taken of the natural wonders through the Western United States. He has surpassed his predecessors in scope by creating a body of work documenting America with cityscapes, portraits, and time-capturing sequences. Ruhter’s images combine the unrefined, antique wet plate aesthetic with contemporary subject matter. The scale of Ian Ruhter’s wet plates also set him apart from his predecessors– Ruhter works on a massive scale with his largest plate measuring 48 X 60 inches.
A fascinating short film, produced by Ian Ruhter and his team, documenting Ruhter as he travels America collecting images of people and places.Fahey/Klein Gallery 148 North La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036