DAVE HEATH: On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth – Capture 2021
April 24–May 29, 2021
WAAP, in collaboration with Stephen Bulger Gallery, in Toronto, will be presenting a selection of works by under-recognized master of 1960s black and white photography, Dave Heath. (born Philadelphia 1931, died Toronto 2016).
The works selected for this exhibition share a common theme of youth culture, isolation and
abandonment. With subjects consisting primarily of children and adolescents, Heath captures moments of the intense, and often confusing, emotions experienced by youth. This exploration of immortalized youth is rooted in Heath’s lived experiences. At the age of four, he was abandoned by both of his parents. By the age of fifteen, he had lived in a series of foster homes and, finally, in an orphanage. It was at this early age, Heath knew that he wanted to be an artist, seeing this as the best way to experience the world and come to define himself within it.
Integral to understanding Heath’s work is appreciating the technical crafting of his photographs. Dodging and burning his images, both through hand manipulations during darkroom exposure, as well as through chemical reduction and intensification of tones after development, Heath’s deliberate yet artful manipulation of the lights and darks, grants access to deeper interpretations of his subject’s psyche and emotions. Often the resulting image is a powerful contrast of stark whites and heavy blacks and his subjects ebb and flow through every gradient in between.
Miles Smith, Troy Ohio, July 1966
Printed in 1966
Gelatin silver print
4 ¾ x 7 inch (12.07 x 17.78 cm) image
5 x 8 inch (12.7 x 20.32 cm) paper
This exhibition is part of the 2021 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibitions Program