Robert Aland Hollingsworth
vintage photographs
April 2 - April 27, 2013

Robert Aland Hollingsworth
Froelick Gallery has the distinct honor of representing the estate of mid-century photographer Robert Aland Hollingsworth. The gallery began working with Mr. Hollingsworth in 2005, prior to his untimely death in 2007. Partnered with Mr. Hollingsworth's family, the gallery manages his archive, presents select exhibitions of his silver gelatin photographs, and promotes knowledge of his life's work.

This exhibition will feature a group of 1950's prints focused on the female form. Though mild-mannered and a devoted husband, Hollingsworth gave great attention to the beauty of the female body. He appreciated both the sensuous forms found in his models and the mysterious symbolism of composed scenes with the nude. A key work in this show is Frances Montgomery which is titled simply for the model. The work was reproduced in the Portfolio section of Aperture, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1956. In it he placed a nude model laying despondent in a ravine below a dilapidated house in a rolling, desolate landscape. The glowing purity of her skin and healthy form is a striking contrast to the bleak landscape. Hollingsworth was highly skilled in every camera, film, and darkroom processes. His exacting abilities allowed him total control over the final results, and he had an incredible ability to produce the broad tonal ranges and dense, velvet black which make silver gelatin a treasured medium. He was emphatic that nobody besides him had ever, nor would ever, print from his negatives. The Hollingsworth estate adheres to this requirement and does not allow for posthumous printing of his work.

Born in Detroit in 1918, Hollingsworth studied technical photography with the Navy, and served in World War II. Upon returning home he enrolled in the first class of the United States' very first fine art photography program at the California School of Fine Art. He studied closely with Minor White, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Dorothea Lange, among many other pre-eminent photographers of the early-mid 20th century. The majority of his professional life was spent as the darkroom assistant to San Francisco Bay Area architectural photographer Morley Baer. His work appeared in the 1956 edition of Aperture mentioned above, as well as on the cover of Vol. 3, No. 2, 1955. His works are found in the public collections including the Portland Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and in the prestigious Hallmark Collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.