Jem Southam (1950 – )
Jem Southam was born in Bristol in 1950. He studied at the London College of Printing for a Higher Diploma in Creative Photography from 1969 to 1972. He is now Professor of Photography at the University of Plymouth.
Southam's subject is the rural landscape of the South West of England, where he lives and works. His photographs are characterised by the observation of cycles of decay and renewal within nature, returning to photograph a single location over the course of many months and years. He layers and juxtaposes these images to reveal subtle changes and developments in the landscape, recording nature's entropic instability. His large and detailed colour photographs, captured with a large-format camera, also often focus on mankind’s place in the environment, showing the impact of human settlement on the natural world. Conversely, these images also capture the psychological effect of environment on man, interrogating our cultural mythologies of natural formations and landscape.
Jem Southam has had solo exhibitions at venues including The Photographers' Gallery, London, 1987; Cenre d'Art Contemporain, Bruxelles, 1992; Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Australia, 1995; Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, England, 2004; Robert Mann Gallery, New York, 2004; Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, 2005; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2005; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 2005; and PhotoEspana, Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid, Spain, 2010.
Existing or coming into being at the same period; of today or of the present. The term that designates art being made today.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
A permanent image taken by means of the chemical action of light on light-sensitive surfaces.
- Greece, Athens, Hellenic American Union
- Greece, Thessaloniki, Museum Of Photography
- Poland, Katowice, Galeria Pusta
- Poland, Krakow, Muzeum Historii Fotografii
- Poland, Lodz, Galeria BWA
- Poland, Poznan, Galeria PF
- Romania, Bacau, Alfa Galleries
- Romania, Iasi, Palace Of Culture
- Romania, Bucharest, National Theatre Galleries
- Slovakia, Bratislava, Broadcasting Gallery
- Czech Republic, Brno, House Of Artists
- Czech Republic, Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove Gallery Of Fine Arts
- Czechoslovakia, Prague, ULUV Exhibition Hall
- Italy, Padua, Assessatore
- Italy, Florence, Studio Marangoni
- Ireland, Dublin, Irish Gallery Of Photography
- Brazil, Blumenau, Galeria Da Prefeitura
- Brazil, Olinda, Museu De Arte Contemporanea
- Brazil, Recife, Shopping Centre
- Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Paco Imperial
- Brazil, Sao Paulo, Museu De Arte De Sao Paulo
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- Norway, Norway
- Sweden, Sweden
- USSR, British Council Office - Lenningrad
- East Germany, East Germany
- Poland, Poland
- Denmark, Odense, Museum Of Photographic Art
- Denmark, Faro Islands, Nordic Cultural Centre
- Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia
- Italy, Italy
- Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia
- Belgium, Belgium