About the Book
In 2014 the Monash Gallery of Art presented an exhibition titled Photographic Abstractions that toured regional galleries in Victoria into the following year. It included a number of contemporary photographers. The abstract effects the curators were interested in materialised through various techniques and approaches that challenge usual conceptions of photography and proposed a “photographic language” less concerned with documentation and more with sensual experience, triggering the imagination and questioning the way we look at life and our world. The photographers’ methods entailed cropping their images, employing unorthodox points of view, and focussing on formal and textural elements. Some even used experimental means to achieve their imagery, such as scanners or electronics, or they manipulated the photographic emulsion, or devised means of montage, with multiple exposures or collage.
This range of approaches is also the focus of this monograph, which explores the obscured tradition of abstract photography in Adelaide c.1950−75.
GARY SAUER-THOMPSON presents work from his own series and writes two essays contextualising the subject
and interpreting its reception in Adelaide and elsewhere.
ADAM DUTKIEWICZ researches the unexplored tradition of post-war abstract photography in Adelaide, and brings into the light the main practitioners: Stanislaw Ostoja-Kotkowski, Ian Davidson, Dušan Marek, Ludwik Dutkiewicz, John Dallwitz, Jan Dalman, Peter Medlen and Stephanie Schrapel.
Abstract photography offers a means of expression in itself and now constitutes a significant tool in the repertoire of many contemporary photographers and artists. In this book its development as an idiom is examined through a regional focus that points to its universal appeal.
Dr. Adam Jan Dutkiewicz was born in Adelaide in 1956. In 1997 he was awarded a scholarship by the University of South Australia to undertake a doctoral degree at the South Australian School of Art in visual art history and theory. From June 1992 until November 2005 he worked as art critic for The Advertiser newspaper and has also worked as a freelance critic and writer for Business Review Weekly and Art Monthly Australia online and The Independent Weekly. He is the contributing author for the monograph Franz Kempf: Thinking on paper (2002) ; co-author of Alexander Sadlo: Experimental Journey - An Artist in Three Countries (2007) and Malcolm Carbins: Silent Depths (2010); and author of Mervyn Smith: Watercolours (2004); A Matter of Mind: an Introduction to the Art of Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz (1918-1999) (2006); Brian Claridge: Architect of Light and Space (2010); Ludwik Dutkiewicz: Adventures in Art (2009), and Lidia Groblicka: Suburban Iconographer (2010).