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Trahern Gallery Opens with exhibit of Barta Photographic Constructions

The first exhibit of the 2005-06 season at Austin Peay State Universitys Trahern Gallery features photographic constructions by self-taught Nevada artist Les Barta. His works are on display from Monday, Sept. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 2.

Advancing the theme developed through his photo collages of the 1980s, Barta uses digital techniques to transform the photographic version of our familiar world.

Howard Taylor, director of Texas San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, describes Bartas work as provocative and beautiful.
The first exhibit of the 2005-06 season at Austin Peay State University's Trahern Gallery features photographic constructions by self-taught Nevada artist Les Barta. His works are on display from Monday, Sept. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 2.

Advancing the theme developed through his photo collages of the 1980s, Barta uses digital techniques to transform the photographic version of our familiar world.

Howard Taylor, director of Texas' San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, describes Barta's work as “provocative and beautiful.”

Although he is a photographer, Barta doesn't simply document scenes of interest to him. Recording the initial image is only the beginning of the process. From there, he uses digital techniques to transform the photographic versions into hard-edged, abstract collages.

“A design is something we have the power to decide and to change,” Barta says. “We can become the designers of our own reality. This is not an art of describing the world. It is an art of deciding the world.”

Philip Prodger of the Saint Louis Art Museum says Barta's work “calls to mind a variety of historical precedents, such as Dada and the early Victorian makers of photo-composites, such as Oscar Rejlander.” He also compares Barta's work to Japanese prints in the way they flatten space.

Barta's photographic constructions, which have received hundreds of exhibitions nationwide, are included in many prestigious collections, including those of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Harvard University.

The Trahern Gallery is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, and 1-4 p.m., Sunday.
For more information about the exhibit, telephone Bettye Holte, associate professor of art and director of APSU galleries, at (931) 221-7334. —Dennie B. Burke