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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Exhibition Detail
Invented Worlds
4525 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64111


February 20th, 2013 - July 28th, 2013
 
 Head with Ladders, from the series Expeditions, Ruth Thorne-ThomsenRuth Thorne-Thomsen,
Head with Ladders, from the series Expeditions,
1979, Gelatin silver print
© Courtesy of the artist & The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
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Ruth Thorne-Thomsen uses the simplest techniques in order to rethink the expressive potential of photography. She is best known for her use of the pinhole camera, beginning in 1976 but has also employed the standard 35mm format.

The pinhole camera can be made from the most basic materials: cardboard, tape, and foil. A small hole made by a pin in a material such as aluminum foil casts a clear but less-than-sharp image which can be recorded on a sheet of photographic film or paper. Everything depicted in the pinhole image—whether small and close or large and distant—is rendered with the same quality of definition, disguising what may be vast differences of distance or size

Throughout her career, Thorne-Thomsen has used the photographic process as a means of invention. She is interested in universal symbols and archetypes, myth, magic, and dreams. The world represented so memorably in her photographs is a place we all know: the landscape of the imagination.


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