Paul Caponigro

(Born 1932)


Paul Caponigro’s prints are clearly some of the finest ever created in photography. They awaken us to the beauty of objects, the moods of a landscape, and sensitize our vision to the subtleties of light. … His images evoke the invisible sources behind physical phenomena, the reality we cannot see penetrating the one we do. … It is his artistic passion to have us set aside our daily habits of mind, to engage our intuition and apprehend a wider reality, a reality both veiled, yet revealed, by our physical surroundings.

 –  David Stroud,
Paul Caponigro: Masterworks from Forty Years

Paul Caponigro blends a spiritual sensibility to all his images with a mastery of printing. Paul studied with Minor White in the late 1950s, and as many student’s of Minor’s found, his teachings were at the both inspirational and challenging, looking deeper into oneself to find your own vision, or to look deeper into each subject for its emotional content as well as for its literal.

Paul Caponigro had his first one-man exhibition at the George Eastman House in 1958. In 1960, Caponigro became a consultant for Polaroid Corporation in the photo-research department. During this time, he also began teaching photography part-time at Boston University. He lived in New Mexico from the 1970’s to the 90’s and now resides in Maine.

Mystery infuses his images, whether of New England’s dark woodlands, the brooding megaliths and Celtic stone crosses of Britain and Ireland, or desert landscapes in the Southwest transfigured by the sun. He states, “At the root of creativity is an impulse to understand, to make sense of random and often unrelated details. For me, photography provides an intersection of time, space, light, and emotional stance. One needs to be still enough, observant enough, and aware enough to recognize the life of the materials, to be able to ‘hear through the eyes’.”

Paul is also a very serious pianist and considers his music and photography to be essential to each other.  His work is included in almost every major museum collections. He has been awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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