For Immediate Release

Media Contacts: Melanie Mathos / Hannah Nuccio
Lou Hammond & Associates /
(843) 371-1363 / (843) 410-5306


Lure of the Lowcountry Exhibition Opens January 22, 2010 at the Gibbes Museum of Art

Contemporary Lowcountry Landscapes Paired with Early Lowcountry Landscapes

(November 2, 2009 - Charleston, South Carolina) Ė The Gibbes Museum of Art will present the exhibition Lure of the Lowcountry in the Main Gallery from January 22, 2010 through April 18, 2010. This exhibition features sixteen large scale mixed-media photographs by artist John Folsom (American, b. 1967) selected from his series entitled Lure of the Lowcountry. Folsomís photographs depict several locations in the region, including Palmetto Bluff and Edisto Island, both in South Carolina, along with Cumberland Island, Georgia. To explore the art-historical precedents of Folsomís work, this exhibition pairs his photographs with fourteen early Lowcountry landscapes from the Gibbes collection, including paintings by Thomas Coram and Charles Fraser.

John Folsomís process begins with a photographic image that is divided into a grid and printed on separate panels. The panels are then attached to a large wooden panel to create a unified image. However, the grid lines remain visible as a reminder that the image is a construction of the artistís making, not an objective representation of nature. Folsom pushes this idea further by working the surface of the image with oil paint and sealing it with a wax medium. The technique gives the surface of Folsomís work a rich patina that suggests the layers of history accumulated in the Lowcountry landscape.

Among the earliest landscape paintings of the region, are those by Thomas Coram and Charles Fraser from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. During this time period, America did not have an established tradition of landscape painting. Therefore, artists borrowed heavily from British aesthetic traditions, particularly a mode of depiction known as the picturesque. Though Folsom has not directly studied theories of the picturesque, elements of the style certainly are present in his work. This assimilation is the result of Folsomís knowledge of art history, particularly the early American landscape paintings of the Hudson River School.

ďThe Lowcountry has always captivated the imagination of artists who have visited her salt marshes and majestic oaks. We are delighted to share these images of early landscape painters alongside John Folsomís contemporary mixed-media landscapes. The juxtaposition of these object reinforces our understanding of the creative process,Ē said Gibbes Executive Director Angela D. Mack.

Lure of the Lowcountry is sponsored by The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum and Charleston Gateway magazine.

John Folsom
A resident of Atlanta, John Folsom was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.

135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401