Fine Art Photography Daily

Alternative Process Week: Laurie Schorr: Photogravure

This week Guest Editor and photographer Kat Kiernan shares the work of photographers working in alternative processes.

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Photogravure is photo mechanical process developed in the 1830s and refined in the 1870s. In this process, metal plates are coated with light-sensitive material, exposed to UV light, inked, and run through an etching press. The resulting intaglio prints are rich, archival, and have exceptional tonal range and detail.

Looking at Laurie Schorr’s series Internal Topographics, I feel as if I am navigating the story of her life. Her photogravure prints incorporate self-portraits and still lifes that reflect her personal journey. Each unique print is rich with metaphor. The antique and tactile quality reminds me of discovering a box of keepsakes from a distant relative. I wonder why she held onto and documented the glass bottles filled with maps and sand, what places the maps depict, and their significance to her life.

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Most recently, I began a series of photogravures, which continue an exploration of self and navigation, braiding my past to my present journey as an artist. Appropriately, the photogravure process itself is a journey into the history of printing, and the direct involvement and living imperfection of the artist’s hand.

Internal Topographics is an unfinished series incorporating self-portraits and photographic objects created and layered over the past several years, as well as collected maps and objects from the places I have lived during this time. The layers of the landscape as expressed through lines along maps remind me of the layers of my own skin and muscle and tendons, of the visible and invisible record of age and time collected within. The bottles stand as pauses along the journey. They are filled with maps from the places I called home, along with collected residual bits of dirt and sand.

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Laurie Schorr grew up in New York surrounded by car parts and cuckoo clocks. From a very early age, she kept diaries and collected images with her camera and sketchbook. Laurie received a BA in Visual Arts and Art History from Roger Williams University and later earned an MA in Art and Art Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Laurie has been teaching photography and writing through outreach and public school systems since 2003 and most recently was the Director of Education at The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Laurie has received numerous grants and awards for her photographic work including the 2014 North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant, a 2013 Arts and Science Council Award, and Best Emerging Artist in Photography at the GLAAD Out Auction in NYC in 2009. Laurie’s work has been exhibited most recently at Castell Photography Gallery, Art Intersection, Lightbox Gallery, PhotoPlace Gallery, and the AIR Gallery (NYC). Laurie will be pursuing an MFA at Florida State University this Autumn.

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