Ken Rosenthal: Days on the Mountain
Most of us are lucky enough to have a special place to escape to–a walking trail, a beach, and in Ken Rosenthal’s world, it’s a family cabin in the woods that has provided a place of wonder, respite, and inspiration. For the past 15 years he has made work around his world of family and place, offering his children a sanctuary from technology and urban life.The result of his efforts is a new book, Days of the Mountain, by Dark Springs Press. It was a lucky meeting to see Ken, his exquisite prints and wonderful book at Photolucida this past weekend.
On May 16th from 6 -8pm, Ken opens a 2 -person exhibition at Klompching Gallery (with Lynn Silverman) with a book signing at Klompching on Sat. May 18, 1-3 pm.
Ken Rosenthal received a BA in still photography from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and a MFA in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
His artwork is represented by Klompching Gallery, New York; Etherton Gal-lery, Tucson; Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe; Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco.
Rosenthal’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, and his photo-graphs are in many public and private collections internationally including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Art Institute of Chicago; The George East-man House, Rochester, NY; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; National Portrait Gallery, London; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Portland Art Museum; and the Wittliff Collec-tions’ Southwest and Mexican Photography Collection, San Marcos, Texas, which holds a major collection of his work.
Rosenthal’s monograph Days On The Mountain, with essays by George Slade and Rosenthal, was published by Dark Spring Press in April 2019 in trade and lim-ited edition book + print sets. A deluxe edition with a silver gelatin print will be released later in 2019. His first book, Ken Rosenthal : Photographs 2001-2009, was released in 2011, and includes an introductory text by curator Rebecca Senf. Pho-tographs 2001-2009 was included on photo-eye’s Best Books of 2011 list. A hardbound limited edition of 50 with two toned silver gelatin prints, designed and produced by Cloverleaf Press, was released in 2012 and is now out of print.
Days on the Mountain
For a month or so each year I get to listen to the talking tree. The talking tree lives in the forest, on the land where the cabin I call home sits. She is tall and curved toward the top; her bark has smoothed out and whitened with time. When the wind rushes through the Selkirk Mountains, the talking tree sways wildly and lets her voice be heard. Her voice is one of the few constants in my life, and when she eventually falls I will miss that sound.
We are fortunate if, in the brief time we inhabit this world, we find a place we consider to be home. A place we choose to call home. It took me some years to understand the difference between house and home, longer still to define the idea of home for myself. I live in the desert. My home is in the forest.
While I imagine some in my family think of our cabin in the forest as a vacation home, I cannot quantify its purpose so narrowly. I do go there to recreate, for certain. Yet I have gone there for myriad reasons: to work; to have more authentic and immersive experiences with my family; to mourn; to reconnect with myself. It is one of those increasingly rare places where I can go and simply be.
I am privileged to have known the place depicted in these pages my entire life. Many of my most potent memories and formative experiences are tied to this sliver of northeastern Washington. It is rustic, rugged, untamed. When I am there, my senses are actively engaged in a way they seldom are elsewhere. I feel fully present.
The photographs woven together to form the narrative herein were made over a fifteen-year period. Like many of the bodies of work I’ve created, this series also functions as a diary, a family album, and a self-portrait. It is a meditation on notions of home, the things we inherit, and those we lose. Ultimately, I suppose, it is a love letter to the place and the people that bring meaning to me on my journey down this chain of days. – Ken Rosenthal
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