“The Visual Dialogue Foundation:  
Vintage Photographs by Judy Dater, Oliver Gaglianai, Leland Rice, and Don Worth, 1968-1978”
March 2 – April 28, 2007
Opening Reception:  Friday, March 9, 7-9pm

Michael Dawson Gallery
535 North Larchmont Boulevard (Limited free parking in our lot), Los Angeles, California 90004
(323) 469-2186, FAX (323) 469-9553
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Don Worth, “Self-Portrait, Mount Tamalpais”, 1969.

Michael Dawson Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage photographs by Judy Dater, Oliver Gagliani, Leland Rice, and Don Worth. All were founding members of the Visual Dialogue Foundation: an influential group of San Francisco Bay Area artists instrumental in changing the course of fine art photography on the West Coast in the late 1960s. This exhibition traces the work of these four photographers during a ten-year period between 1968 and 1978 highlighting their aesthetic differences as well as their common goals articulated by the creation of the Visual Dialogue Foundation in 1968. These photographers are well documented in the exhibition and catalogue, The Collectible Moment organized by the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.

The formation of the Visual Dialogue Foundation, active between 1968 and 1972, was a direct response to limited avenues open for fine art photographers to exhibit and share their work among themselves and with a wider audience. Given the wide appreciation for the medium of photography today, it is difficult to understand the isolation that fine art photographers faced in the late 1960s.  The members of the Visual Dialogue Foundation had a deep knowledge of the craft of photography and were proficient in producing fine art prints reflecting the “straight” aesthetic of the Group f.64 tradition defined by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston in the 1930s. Photographers drawn to the Visual Dialogue Foundation desired to take their knowledge of photography and expand the parameters of the medium through a new approach to subject matter, multiple exposure, hand coloring, and three dimensional photographic sculpture to name only a few.

Judy Dater’s photographs from the period are engaging portraits of men and women that reflect an expanding idea of personal identity and sexuality growing out of the social and political movements of the late 1960s.The photographs of Oliver Gagliani and Leland Rice challenge the imagination through the representation of abstract images that reflect a fascination with Surrealism and spiritual introspection: both dominant ideas in “alternative” movements of the 1960s. Don Worth, an assistant to Ansel Adams in the late 1950s, has employed a quiet, meditative approach to self-portraiture, landscape, and still life that reflects a profound interest in the redemptive qualities of the natural world prevalent in the late 1960s.

The show will be up from March 2nd through April 28th, 2007. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 9th, from 7 to 9 pm.

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