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Celebrated P.E.I. photographer Lionel Stevenson to give ArtTalk Thursday

November 20, 2012

(Charlottetown) - Notable Canadian photographer Lionel Stevenson will present an ArtTalk at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery on Thursday, November 22 at 7 p.m. Stevenson's talk will focus on some of his greatest influences; Eugène Atget, a great early 20th century documenter of Paris, and Berenice Abbott, an American photographer best known for her stunning photography of 1930s urban landscapes and New York City architecture. Stevenson's career retrospective Fifty Years of Photographs (1962-2012) is currently on exhibition in the Art Gallery. Born in New Glasgow, P.E.I., Stevenson was already a successful commercial photographer in Toronto when he met Berenice Abbott in 1968. Apprenticing under her in Maine, Stevenson broadened his skills, learning how to capture a highly personal form of photographic expression, as much through printing technique as through selection of the initial shot, and that an aesthetic quality was possible no matter what the photograph's ostensible subject matter.

Abbott was strongly influenced herself by the work of French photographer, Eugène Atget, an unknown artist at the time of their meeting in 1927. Atget's street scenes and architectural documentary only gained international recognition after his death - almost entirely due to Abbott, who purchased his negatives and brought them to light in exhibitions and publications. Said Abbott of Atget, "He will be remembered as an urbanist historian, a genuine romanticist, a lover of Paris, a Balzac of the camera, from whose work we can weave a large tapestry of French civilization."

Lionel Stevenson's November ArtTalk will be the first of two presentations, with a second forthcoming in the spring regarding his own practice. ArtTalks are free of charge and all are welcome. For more information, visit confederationcentre.com.
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