Anne Arden McDonald

For years I have been experimenting with different ways of generating an image on photographic paper. I recently began thinking about the dialogue that painters and sculptors have with their mediums and realized that I wanted come up with ways that my process could inform the resulting image. While still working with photo paper, light and chemistry, I used some well-known processes like the photogram and invented other ways of producing images without using a negative. Some of these methods included painting bleach onto blackened photo paper, or building layered piles of glass and eggshells and moving around them with a flashlight to make an exposure. I also tested eighty medicines, spices and household cleaners by painting them onto photo paper before running the image through the developer and fix. I used glue as a resist and dug down to the photo paper surface with alternating developers and fix to create an image on the paper. Some of the images were made in the dark and some in daylight, some processes were additive and others reductive. I have been developing these processes and using them to make a series of giant (50 x 111 inch or 125 x 280om) images of circles and spheres, meant to represent planets and atoms, to visualize the macrocosm and the microcosm of life as we know it. I am hoping next to explore biology, and I am looking into testing bioluminescent organisms to expose the photo paper and creating bacterial, fungal and mold-based ecosystems to eat the sugar that is present in the gelatin of silver gelatin paper.

I think these giant camera-less photographs I have been making ask some interesting questions about what photography is, and what it can be. I believe that at 170 years old, photography is a very young medium. We still have so much unexplored terrain. Unfortunately, we also stand at a precipice, as digital photography is eroding the availability of some of the analogue materials that photographers have employed.

Photo of Anne Arden McDonald

20 x 16 in.

24 x 20 in.

40 x 30 in.

Large Scrolls

Installation views



2018 Atom, Planet, Candela Gallery, Richmond, Va.

Ebb and Flow, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY.

2017 Rise, Fall, Float, Soho Photo Gallery, New York, NY.

2012 Rituals and Enactments, Iris Bookcafe, Cincinnati Month of Photo, Cinn, Oh.

2011 Atom, Planet, Skink Ink Editions, Brooklyn, NY.

Weighing the Clouds, University of Louisville, Ky.

2010 Win Initiatives, New York, NY.

2009 Liloveve Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.

2006 The Body in Transformation, Month of Photography, Slovakia.

Flying and Floating, Hartsfield International Airport, Atlanta, Ga.

2005 Buoyancy, Cave Space, Brooklyn, NY.

From Earth to Sky, O’Artoteca, Milan, Italy.

2003 UC Berkeley Extension Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY.

Contemporary Arts Center, Abilene, Tx.

2000 La Metamorphosis de Icaro, Santiago, Chile.

1999 Traces of the Body, Cave Space, Brooklyn, NY.

1998 Mise-En-Scene, University of Delaware, Newark, De.

Robin Rice Gallery, New York, NY.

1997 Personal Rituals, American Cultural Center, Prague, Czech Republic.

In Focus Gallerie, Cologne, Germany.

1996 Clement Gallery, University of Toledo, Oh.

Books and Company, New York, NY.

Gallerie 3.14, Laon, France.

1995 Month of Photography, Bratislava, Slovakia.

1994 The Will of the Wisp, Atlanta Photography Gallery, Atlanta, Ga.

Autonomy and Alchemy, Icarus and Angels, Melkweg Gallerie, Amsterdam.

Pyramid Fine Arts, Rochester, NY.

Alma College, Alma, Mi.

Eastern Washington University, Spokane, Wa.

Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Va.

1993 In Focus Gallerie, Cologne, Germany.

Still Webbings Whisper Coker College, Hartsville, SC.

Iisalmen Kamera Festival, Iisalmi, Finland.

Nadir a Liderts (Dark Anxieties), Camera Club of New York, NY.

Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pa.

1992 New Work from Eastern Europe, Spazi Fine Art, Housatonic, Ma.

Török Fürdö Malom-Tó, Budapest, Hungary.


2018 Light & Metal, Photo Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.

2017 Nucleus-Imagining Science, Noorderlicht Photofestival, The Netherlands.

Between the Medium: Seeing Photographically, Redline Art Center, Denver, Co.

2016 Constructing Photography at Emporia State Univ, Emporia, Ks.

Chemistry: Explorations in Abstract Photography, Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY.

2015 Unconscious Metaphors, Walker Fine Art, Denver, Co.

The Origins of Photography; Past and Present, Pattern Shop Studio, Denver, Co.

2014 Material, Strata, Synthesis at KMOCA, Kingston, NY.

Chemistry at Matteawan Gallery in Beacon, NY.

La Fototeca, Guatemala City, Guatemala

2013-14 Critical Mass at Corden-Potts Gallery, SF, CA, and HCP, Houston, TX.

2013 Mad Hatters to Pixel Pushers, Projective Eye Gallery, UNC Charlotte, NC.

2012 Shift, Castell Photography, Asheville, NC.

2011 Photography Now, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Curated by Vince Aletti.

2009 In Time, Contact Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada.

2007 Alone in the Landscape, Flatfile Galleries, Chicago IL. (2 person)

1999 Where the Girls Are, Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Mn.

1998 Vagueness, G4 Gallery, Cheb, Czech Republic. (two person)

Discoveries of the Meeting Place, Fotofest, Houston, Tx.

1997 Glorious Gardens, Bonnie Benrubi Gallery, New York, NY.

1996 The Flesh and the Spirit, Houston Center for Photography, Tx. (two person)

Fresh Work, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Fl.

1995 Time Measure, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary.

Photogallerie Wien, Vienna, Austria (two-person with Pavel Pecha)

1994 Four Photographers, Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa.

Group Show, Tom Cugliani Gallery, New York, NY.


The Bibliotheque Nationale Leo Steinberg

The Houston Museum of Fine Art Joel- Peter Witkin

The Detroit Institute of Art Jan Svankmajer

The Brooklyn Museum Dr. Stanley Burns

The Denver Museum Mark Waskow

The Worcester Art Museum Kate Pierson

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Center for Photography at Woodstock


2017 Interview with Natasha Kurchanova, Candidate Journal, March.

2013 Kingston Times, “KMOCA’s Krampus exhibit a smash hit” by Lynn Woods.

Cinn. Enquirer, “Self Portraits weave photos, performances”, by Jack Demaline, Feb. 8.

Aeqai “Rituals and Enactments, the self-portraits of A.A.M.” by Jonathan Kamholtz, Jan 20.

Citybeat, “Photographs from a private world at Iris” by Jane Durell, p. 24 plus image, Jan 30.

2011 Eyemazing Magazine (Netherlands), pages 146-153, Sept.

A Curator (blog), by Julie Graham, April.

2010 The Omen Magazine (Portugal), pages 106-131. March.

2008 Xfuns Magazine (Taiwan), pages 72-77, Feb.

2007 Light Leaks Magazine (Canada), cover, pages 1, 8-11, May.

Malabar Magazine (Mexico), cover, pages 4, 7-12, 45, Feb.

2006 Kwartalnik Magazine (Poland), “A.A.M.’S World of Illusions,” p. 22-29, Fall, by Grzegorz Przyborek.

The New York Gaho (Japan), page 2, 16-18, Jan.

2005 Zoom Magazine (Italy) ”Anne Arden McDonald”, pages 34-38, July, by Gigliola Foschi.

The Photographic Collector Newsletter, page 11, Dec, by Jayme Guokas.

2004 The Brooklyn Rail, July, Book review by Ellen Pearlman.

Artnews Magazine, page 73, (image), January.

2003 Photo Insider Magazine, pages 30-32, March, by Marissa E. Campbell.

2001 Shots Magazine, “Interview: Anne Arden McDonald”, pages 4-10, March, by Russell Joslin.

1999 Aperture Magazine,“Explorations: Ten Photographers”, Feb. Article by Peggy Roalf.

Review Magazine, March, Article by Carol Diehl.

1997 La Fotografia (Spain) ”Autoretratos” #63 page 44-45, Oct.

Photo Metro Magazine volume 15, issue 144, page 40-41.

CV Photo Magazine (Canada), "Dreams in Black and White" #38, pages 16-23, by Celine Mayrand.

1996 Photographies Magazine (France), “Young Talent”, #77 page 72, June.

Shots Magazine, "I Am Not This Body", # 51 pages 4-8, March. Article by Anne Arden McDonald.

1995 Art Life Magazine (Slovakia), " O Anicke", pages 30-31, Dec. Article by Rudo Prekop.

(5 articles in Austrian papers and magazines, Fall 1995).

1994 Apex Magazine, (Germany), #20 pages 83-84, Text by Wanda Strukus.

NY Newsday, "The Marketing of Generation X", Nov. Article by Amei Wallach.

Foto Magazine (Netherlands), pages 17-21, Aug. Portfolio.

Time Out (Netherlands), "Fantastic Voyage", July. Review by Dave Potts.

New York Times, “Group Show--Tom Cugliani Gallery”, Jan. Review by Charles Hagen.

1993 Village Voice,”Choices--Disposable Generation”, July. Review by Vince Aletti.

(10 assorted articles appearing in Finnish papers, July)

Cooperation (Switzerland), “Un Combat Quotidien”, # 29 page 38, July. Article by Justine Deleau.

Le Democrat (France), ”Une Toute Autre Realite”, page 28, May. Article by Bernadette Richard.

1992 Photo Review Magazine, vol. 15 #3 page 42, Summer.

European Photography Magazine, pages 28-31 July. Article by Wanda Strukus.

catalogues and books

2018 Photographic Possibilities, by Robert Hirsch, page 260.

2016 Kreativni Barva (Creative Color), edited by Jan Pohribny, page 243, Czech Republic.

2014 Aesthetica Anthology of 100 contemporary artists, page 52, London, England.

Black Forest, published by Candela Books, edited by Russell Joslin.

2013 Lenzless, Plates to Pixels catalogue.

Guide to Alternative Processes, page 59, edited by Jill Enfield.

Eyemazing Anthology, pages 294, 352-353.

2012 Fotofocus catalogue (Cinn.) page 26, plus image, Fall.

2010 Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity, pages 28-30, by Michelle Bates.

2008 Emergence Catalogue, pages 12,-13.

Fotofest Catalogue-Participating Spaces, pages 97, 99, 247.

2006 Bratislava Month of Photography (Slovakia), pages 118-119.

2005 The Jacques Maillet Collection, pages 132-137.

2004 Anne Arden McDonald, Installations and Self Portraits, published April.

2002 Artists to Artists- A Decade of the Sharpe Foundation, page 134-135.

2000 Black and White Photography, page 41, March. Edited by James Luciana.

Dreams 1900-2000-Art and the Unconscious, page 256, Jan. Edited by Lynn Gamwell.

1998 Arles, Festival Voies Off, (France) pages 11, 14.

Fotofest, Discoveries of the Meeting Place, page 74.

1996 Fresh Work, Southeast Museum of Photography, June.

8 x 10, Queens College Museum, June.


2019 Residency at Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY.

2019 Residency at the Millay Colony, Austerlitz, NY.

2018-2015 Residency at Byrdcliffe, August, Woodstock, NY.

2014 Schrattenberg Residency, June, Scheifling, Austria

2013 Critical Mass top 50, Photolucida, Portland, Or.

Finalist, Clarence John Laughlin Award, New Orleans Photo Alliance.

2012 Honorable Mention in the Fine Art category of the IPA awards, Lucy Foundation.

1998 Discoveries of the Meeting Place, Fotofest, Houston, Tx.

1993,97 Finalist, Friends of Photography Ruttenberg Foundation Award.

1995 Best in show, Robin Rule Gallery, Denver, Co.

1994 Artist in Residence, Millay Colony, Austerlitz, N.Y. (Lapine Fellow)

"The Space Program" grant from The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation.

1992 Best in show, Images Gallery, Cincinnati, Oh.

Merit Award, Women in the Visual Arts 1992.

1991 Chosen to represent the Organization of Ind. Artists in their anniversary show.

1990 Third Place, Maine Photographic Workshop's annual print competition.

First Place in Black & White, Soho Photo Annual Print Competition.

Merit Award, Matrix International'90, Sacramento, Ca.

Third Place, San Diego Art Institute's Annual Exhibition, San Diego, Ca.

1984 Savannah College of Art and Design Scholarship for Summer Art Study in London and Paris.