A Kind of Rapture (Hardcover)

A Kind of Rapture By Robert Bergman Cover Image
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For more than ten years, Robert Bergman—a brilliant artist who has purposefully withheld himself from the mainstream—traveled by car with two friends, for months at a time, throughout the Rust Belt (Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Gary) and the East Coast, taking color pictures of everyday people who moved him profoundly. Even as he used a simple 35-mm camera, amateur film, no tripod, and no special lighting, his was a monumental, Whitmanesque project: to document the physical appearance and spirit of Americans, and to gauge the climate of our times.

A Kind of Rapture, which is certain to be a classic work of photography, brings together the first selection from Bergman’s epic enterprise. Having taken, developed, and printed his own pictures since the age of five, Bergman has now, for A Kind of Rapture, created his own color separations, using high-resolution digital equipment, in an effort to exercise more control over the quality of reproduction than photographers have ever had. Bergman and his colleagues have helped define a new paradigm for art-book publishing—each and every image in this book is extraordinary for its fidelity to the artistic sensibility that informs its original print.

With an introduction by Toni Morrison and an Afterword by Meyer Schapiro

About the Author

ROBERT BERGMAN (b. 1944, New Orleans) is an American-born photographer who spent ten years traveling the country and taking photographs of Americans from all walks of life. His first two solo exhibitions were at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and PS1 MOMA. Bergman divides his time between Minnesota and New York City. 

"Every now and then, the art world offers up an unlikely story, and Robert Bergman's is one of them. He was born in New Orleans and raised mostly in Minneapolis. He began taking and developing snapshots at age 6, and save for a few teenage years he has strived to be a great photographer-artist ever since. But he has remained an out-of-step one, isolated from contemporary tastes, a cult figure to the few who have seen his work in person or in a 1998 book. The 65-year-old photographer went his own way over the past four decades, never selling a work until two years ago, but he nevertheless is about to burst onto the scene with two museum exhibitions, and next month he will have his first show at a commercial gallery, Yossi Milo in Chelsea, New York City."
Judith H. Dobrzynski, The Wall Street Journal

Praise For…

Occasionally there arises an event or a moment that one knows immediately will forever mark a place in the history of artistic endeavor. Robert Bergman's portraits represent such a moment. In all its burnished majesty his gallery refuses us unearned solace and one by one by one each photograph unveils us, asserting a beauty, a kind of rapture, that is as close as can be to a master template of the singularity, the community, the unextinguishable sacredness of the human race.”
—Toni Morrison, Winner of the Nobel Prize

“[Bergman] has introduced the processes of unification, as in a painting, with the search for harmony, movement, variety, and distinction within it, beyond what I have ever seen in a photograph. His finest works bring to mind some of the greatest painted portraits . . . Here are masterful revelations of states of existence in the inner and outer person—truly profound works of art.”
—Meyer Schapiro, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the American Philosophical Society
“An underground legend for decades… A moving body of work, exhibiting an exceptional ability to reveal the singular nature of each of his subjects and their common humanity.”
—Earl A. Powell, Director, National Gallery of Art
“The portraits . . . are unlike any others in the history of photography. The faces in Robert Bergman’s photographs are all so penetrating that one must spend a good deal of time looking at them to begin to realize their scope. Finally, it is difficult to identify a human emotion that is not revealed in them . . . Bergman is a great portraitist.”
—David Levi Strauss, Chair, Graduate Program in Art Writing, School of Visual Arts
“Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Gary Winogrand, and William Eggleston . . . [Bergman] is certainly in their league.”
—John Yau, Poet and Critic
“Unprecedented portraits . . . which transcend boundaries between painting and photography.”
—Glenn Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art
“We are in the presence of the overwhelmingly human . . . and there is no escape.”
—Margo Jefferson, The New York Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780679442578
ISBN-10: 067944257X
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: November 3rd, 1998
Pages: 120
Language: English