Bob Tanner: What Was Left Behind
Bob Tanner has created a meditative still life project on the transience of the metaphorical tea bag, suddenly sculptural with the addition of hot water and again deflated into new incarnations of shape and form. Freud said that the temporal limitations of object do not devalue an object. He said that the transience may increase the importance of an object and by examining and recognizing that things perish, we will avoid staying in a state of melancholy about what once was. So with that idea realized, we consider these photographs as new forms of beauty. Bob currently has an exhibition at the Perspective Group and Photography Gallery in Evanston, IL that will run through October 27th, with a conversation with the artist on October 24th at 7pm.
Growing up in Detroit, Bob Tanner, unlike his friends, constantly sketched and painted, enjoyed school art class and took art lessons. Then in high school he discovered photography. Bob earned the money for his first camera by bagging groceries for tips. Soon enough, pencils and brushes were set aside. A tiny basement bathroom became his first darkroom where he developed film and made prints.
Following high school, Bob studied with Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan and Frederick Sommer at the Institute of Design in Chicago. All remain lifelong influences on his work. Five years later, although he had not lost his interest in photography, Bob began directing and producing corporate and educational films and videos.
Later in life, Bob once again altered his career path, earned a master’s degree and taught art at a Chicago Public School. Following the birth of his first grandchild and the death of his parents, he felt the need to return to creating photographs. Bob’s work became and still remains personal. Making photographs enables him to better understand his own life and that of the world he lives in.
Bob has exhibited at The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Center For Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO., Flatfile Gallery, Bridgeport Art Center, and Stephen Daiter Gallery, all in Chicago, IL, Evanston Art Center, Gallery Mornea and Perspective Gallery in Evanston, IL, The Art Center of Highland Park, IL, Gallery Pink, Oak Park, IL, and Aux Pieds Leves Gallerie d’art, Hudson, Hudson, QE. His photographs are in the collection of JP Morgan Chase, The Detroit Institute of Arts and private collections. Bob is a charter member of Perspective Group and Gallery, Evanston, IL.
What Was Left Behind
For years, my photography has been concerned with questions of mortality, my own and of the world in which we all inhabit. Typically, living organisms leave evidence of their existence once they are gone, some are easy to find, while other traces may be obscured, or difficult to understand. These images are from a continuing series titled,
What Was Left Behind. The photographed objects appear to be sacks, or packages, or luggage, perhaps only tea bags. Whose are they? We sense they are filled, but with what and why? What about their scale? Is it important?
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