Olivia Parker

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The themes in my work include: diagrams of the unseeable, words considered for both their verbal and visual presence, games, double meanings, maps, an interplay of natural and man-made structures, pure gesture, perspectives of how different things are thought of at different times, things taken apart and reassembled in the present.

– Olivia Parker

Olivia Parker Biography

Olivia Parker is recognized as one of the foremost still-life photographers of her generation. As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, she majored in art history and took the few studio classes that were offered. Her initial artistic expression was painting, and because of the lack of classes, she was self-taught.

When she turned to photography, she began by working exclusively in black-and-white, using large format cameras: 8 x 10″ up to 12 x 20″. Parker then contact-prints the negatives and split-tones the prints to create a rich tonal quality with very subtle effects. Her compositions incorporate her extensive knowledge of art history and literature and reference the conflicts and celebrations of contemporary life.

Parker then turned to Polaroid and Cibachrome materials and returned to painting and creating elaborate preparations and background materials for her individual images. All her work is composed and shot on copystand. In the last five years, she has employed digital technologies but continued with the same concerns she has dealt with throughout her career.

Prints priced individually.

selected publications:
Weighing The Planets
Signs of Life
Under the Looking Glass

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