“Quite often, I feel as if my soul is in the past and my mind is in the future. The vintage cameras and processes I use have a magical quality, which helps me to bring forth an indefinable depth of feeling and poetic structure in my photographs. My primary concern is that my art communicates both on a factual level, as well as on one of beauty and emotion.”
Photographer Luther Gerlach works in a variety of historical photographic processes, highlighting the role of constraints in creative production and the hand-made, tactile connection between the artist and his work. Known for nude portraits and urban scenes of downtown LA in his early career, more recently Gerlach has pioneered the re-emergence of plein air wet plate collodion landscapes. His work distills detailed images of the natural world, particularly the trees, seaweeds, and grasses of Southern California, to emphasize pure light and line, endowing his images with a subtly abstract quality.
Luther Gerlach was born in Blayne, Minnesota in 1960. He apprenticed with Brett Weston in Carmel and Hawaii in the 1980’s, before learning the wet plate process which he still works in today. Gerlach has led lectures and demonstrations at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles since 2001. He has exhibited at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Ventura Museum of Art, the Schaknow Museum of Fine Art, Miami, the Denver Art Museum, and The Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe. Selected permanent collections include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Michael G. Wilson Centre for Photography, among others.
The artist lives and works in Ventura, California.