Stephen Althouse: Tools & Shrouds
Artist-photographer Stephen Althouse’s personal experiences serve as
inspiration for his visual expressions of life. He combines found or
fabricated objects into cryptic assemblages and then photographs the
assemblages onto large format film. Lacing his images with visual
autobiographical narrative themes that recur and criss-cross throughout his
images, Althouse has created a unique and mysterious visual language of
personal symbols and metaphors.
Awarded a 2003-2004 Fulbright Research Fellowship, Althouse resided in
Belgium, creating work as an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Modern
and Contemporary Art in Liège. He received additional grants from
Epson/Seiko and Hahnemühle papers of Germany in support of his fine art
digital printing. In addition to being widely exhibited, his fine art photography
has been extensively collected by major museums and private collectors
throughout North America, South America, and Europe.
Althouse was raised in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania and received his
Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth
University. His undergraduate study was at Rollins College, Florida, Tyler
School of Art in Philadelphia, and the University of Miami where he received
his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. For 30 years he has lived in Miami
where he has held a position of Professor of Fine Arts at Barry University,
and has also been periodically teaching in Paris, London, Madrid, and South
America. Currently his residence and studio is in central Pennsylvania.
See more of his work at www.barry.edu/althouse.
"In Althouse’s photography, old and derelict refugees of his and our past evoke new
mysteries. Wrapped, bound, or shrouded in white cloth, many of his objects create a
dialogue between freedom and constraint, flight and imprisonment, death and resurrection.
Often featuring objects like saws, chisels and wrenches, Althouse’s images also serve as
monuments to human labor and the significance and value of work. Whether depicting the
sinuous leather straps of an old bridle or the well-scrubbed ridges of an ancient wooden
washboard, the images of Althouse’s artifacts become powerful visual metaphors for the
lives of the people who have used them. Through his unique command of extreme
photographic detail, Althouse reveals the worn and scarred surfaces of his artifacts, the
presence of generations of hands that have held them, and references the timeless untold
challenges and struggles of common people confronting their daily tasks."
|—Joanne Cubbs, Mark McPhail, Gene Metcalf,
Art Critics and Curators, Art Museum Miami University, Oxford, Ohio