Bib-Overalls, 1999
gelatin silver print
40x32 inches

 Dale Kistemaker: First Sight, An Encyclopedia of Childhood

San Francisco artist Dale Kistemaker opens an exhibition of new work at Brian Gross Fine Art on Thursday, March 7, with a reception for the artist from 5:30-7:30 pm. In his recent work, a series entitled First Sight, An Encyclopedia of Childhood, Kistemaker presents the documented artifacts from his youth, a photographic process that crosses the line between art and anthropology.

Kistemaker’s work explores the intersection between personal memory and the historical record. The exhibition features a selection of photographs documenting the recovered objects from his childhood. He reproduces these relics in black and white photography, through a process which renders them life-size on a nondescript white background. By objectively photographing on a 1:1 scale items such as books, model railroads, toys, and clothes, Kistemaker invites the viewer to engage with work that evokes both personal history and collective experience. His arrangement of photographs is a system of poetic description, allowing multiple layered meanings to unfold through a dialogue of cultural history and autobiography.

The complete First Sight series will be the subject of a travelling museum exhibition, which opens its tour at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art in September 2003. An accompanying monograph will be published featuring an essay by Bay Area author Rebecca Solnit.

Dale Kistemaker was born in Cleveland, OH, in 1948. He received his MFA from San Francisco State University in 1975, and has been Professor of Art at SFSU since 1988. His recent solo exhibitions include shows at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, OH and the International Center of Photography in New York City. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions throughout the country. Last year he participated in Beyond Boundaries: Contemporary Photography in California, a travelling exhibition organized by The Ansel Adams Center. His work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Fundació Raphael Tous D’Art Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Oakland Museum, CA.