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Item Name: Photograph
Title: Wedding Invitations
Maker: Phil Bergerson
Year: 1980
Country: Canadian
Materials: ektacolour photograph
Measurements: in frame: 47.5 cm x 62 cm; work: 32 cm x 44 cm
ID Number: ART 114
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: In Canada, Phil Bergerson was one of the first artists to use the medium of colour photography. Previously in the North American art world, only a few such as Ernst Haas, Joel Meyerowitz or William Eggleston had used colour, possibly because of the public perception that black and white images were more serious, and therefore suited as an art medium. Certainly, black and white photographic materials are more archival. This photograph was made in 1980. Entitled “Wedding Invitations”, it is part of a series that Bergerson made using consumer goods such as neckties, or spools of thread as his subject. The banal subject of consumer goods is similar to the work of Pop artists such as Andy Warhol. To create this photograph, Bergerson used one photograph of wedding stationery, and then printed his negative multiple times to create a grid of the same image. To achieve this precise pattern of repeated images before computer-assisted “Photoshop” printing was possible, Bergerson had to work meticulously, individually exposing his negative onto photographic paper twenty-five times. Phil Bergerson (1947- ) was born in Toronto, Ontario. From 1967 -70, Bergerson studied photography at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, earning a diploma in the photographic arts. In 1970, he studied painting and printmaking at York University, earning his BFA Honours (1972). In 1974, Bergerson organized Ryerson's first Annual International Lecture Series on Photography, which has since become the Kodak Chair Lecture Series. He began his career in teaching at Ryerson in 1975, where his work was recognized with the prestigious Sahota Award for excellence in teaching and creative research. Bergerson also established the “Canadian Perspectives” National Conference on Photography, and the first International Symposium on Photographic Theory. He retired from Ryerson in 2007 as an emeritus faculty member. In 1995, Bergerson began a series of road trips in the United States, documenting everyday sights. This work exhibited internationally and was published as the critically acclaimed book, “Shards of America” (2004). Bergerson’s work can be found in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris), and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.