ARTHUR TRESS, Trimming the Towers , 2008; from Out of Hand ; 11 x 14 in., GSP. Edition of 10
Boasting a career spanning more than half a century, Arthur Tress is known for his surreal, dreamlike photographs. Traveling widely after receiving his BFA from Bard College, Tress now lives and works in Cambria, California. Fascinated with how otherworldly reality has become, Trimming the Towers explores transformed, industrialized landscapes with humor and anxiety. While Tress looks to photography as a method to understand the complexities of the world around him, his photography often has the opposite effect on its viewer, confusing and distorting reality until it appears in uncanny ways. Tress has explained his approach to photography as a method for defining the confusing world that rushes constantly towards him. “It is my defensive attempt to reduce our daily chaos to a set of understandable images. The camera is a mechanical apparatus that extends my natural ability and desire for meaningful organization.” Several monographs of Tress’ work have been published during his career. His latest, Fresh: Arthur Tress, San Francisco 1964, accompanies the upcoming exhibition of the same name at the de Young Museum in 2012. His work, included in virtually every major institutional collection, was the subject of the retrospective Arthur Tress: Fantastic Voyage, 1956—2000 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2001.