Artist Biography Statements
Chad Kleitsch was born and raised in New Jersey. He earned his B.A. in Photography at Bard College. He has since lectured at Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College and taught at Bard College, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, and La Guardia College. In his 30 year career Kleitsch has photographed many interesting projects, among them abandoned factories in the American Rust Belt, asylums in the American northeast , the pre-restoration documentation of Ellis Island, street photography, an extensive botanicals survey, also an essay on museum installations around the country. Currently he is working on an essay of scanography of rare documents. His work appears frequently in publications and books such as Chronogram, Weird U.S., Bystander: A History of Street Photography,The Mountain Record, and TIMEMagazine and has been reviewed in TheNew York Times, The New Yorker, Time Out, Albany Times Union, and Fortune Magazine.
Please view Copyright Alliance's Podcast video interview
with Chad Kleitsch where he describes his photography and scanography. He talks about how and why he produces his absorbing floral images and the value of taking time to consider overlooked beauty in our increasingly fast-paced, digital world.
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Many years ago I lived near a large garden. I would see them all in their unique stages of life. They were always open, innocent and beautiful.
These are portraits of beings whose life is brief and whose silence and perfection are wondrous.
"Spring is in the frozen branches, buried beneath three feet of snow."
Dogen Zenji, 13th Century
The depiction of light in photography has been it’s constant. With the introduction of digital imaging the definitions of traditional photography have blurred and transformed. This work questions the current issues of image process, print medium and the progressively confusing debate between real or “computer generated” images.
These images draw references from classic depictions of light through art history, from a carved sun on Egyptian temple to a Frederic Church sunset or Gerhard Richter’s Candle paintings. This work also makes references to the spectrum of popular mass media such as the contemporary films 2001: A space Odyssey and Close encounters of the Third Kind as well to the generic theatrical light show at a concert or public event.
Images depicting light(s) are often the vessel for many generations to fill with their own conscious and unconscious needs. They stir up several basic human emotions, often asking questions relating to an original source or beginning.
These computer-generated images of light sources ask the same questions but pointed toward the issues of what is photography depicting now in a Photoshop world. Is it real or computer generated- does it matter anymore and is the message of light still the same.
Working in various capacities in art museums over the years, I experienced a side of institutional space that the public rarely sees. The techniques and processes of display are purposely made invisible to the public, heightening the aura of exclusivity that exists in the “white box” of the museum galleries.
I take original documents - letters, found paper, postcards, recipes - and treat them as film by back lighting them during a digital scanning process called "scanography". The images are then printed on archival German ink jet paper at an exhibition size of 40x50 inches.
The project utilizes the archives from the New York Public Library. Starting in September 2005, I began scanning works from the original manuscripts archives of The Pforzheimer Collection of Shelly and his Circle as well as The Berg Collection. The first piece I select for scanning was, appropriately, a poem by Byron because William Henry Fox Talbot used a somewhat similar process, in 1840, and made a photogram with a Byron poem. Then onto Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, e.e. Cummings, Jack Kerouac, John Cage among other great works of literature. Needless to say, there is an incredible amount of exciting material to work with and I envision this as an ongoing series.
A photographic essay on institutional islands around New York City
Have you ever had to go into a lost and found box searching for your lost item? First comes the sudden fear of it being lost. Next there is the frustration about the carelessness that brought you into this situation. Last, there is the anxious hope of perhaps finding it, and all along a deep understanding that it all depends upon the slight chance that someone was kind enough to take the time to return it. Imagine being that lost item, waiting to be found, to be cared for and used again.
These were some of the feelings that I felt as I explored
It was painful to hear of the awful circumstances that tens of thousands of people went through to get into this country. Often people were just sent back or held in isolation wards if they were suspected of illness. People who died on the island often ended up in the Ellis operating theater to be dissected for NYU medical students. Sometimes, even young children ended up in these situations. There are many stories, and I suggest you go to the museum yourself and find your own.
Through these photographs I found some stories that had been lost and brought them out of the dark to where they can be remembered and appreciated. Some of them are painful to see but that is all we are doing is seeing. Imagine being the immigrants who experienced it.
A photographic essay of abandoned 19th century psychiatric hospitals
There are new chain link fences that surround these old mental institutions. But these fences are not there to contain what once lived inside. They are there to protect these lost souls from what is outside.
Located high on a hill overlooking all of
Before I started this project, I thought it would be a great adventure to explore these old and eerie abandoned mental hospitals. After I had spent several days photographing I began to feel that these places had a lot to teach me. When I am in these places I have learned to quiet my mind, my own idea of what this is, and as clearly and compassionately as possible see what these buildings have to say.
This project has opened my life to a topic that I assumed I understood - mental illness. My re-education lead me to feel and see the legacy of ignorance and presumption that caused further suffering for those seeking refuge from their already difficult lives. These places are a 130 year old statement of how the mentally ill were treated in the past and yet these spaces would not be unfamiliar to a patient today.
Born: 1968, Westwood, NJ
Education: Bard College, B.A. Photography, 1991
Lives: Rhinecliff, NY
Botancial Mind, Eclipse Gallery, North Adams, MA, Aug 2013
Works on Paper, The Camera Club of New York, May 2011
White Box- Photographs of the Unseen Museum,
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT Jan. 2010
White Box, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, NYC, NY, 2003
Community Access, Puck Building, NYC, NY, 1999
Asylum, E3 Gallery, NYC, NY,1999
Rilke’s Eighth Elegy, Zen Mt. Monastery, Mt.Tremper, NY, 1997
Lost & Found – Ellis Island, Carolyn J. Roy Gallery, NYC, NY, 1994
Mansfield University Art Center, Mansfield, PA, 1994
“On Time and Place”: Celebrating Scenic Hudson’s first 50 years, Traveling Show 2013
Works from the Hudson Valley Visual Art Consortium Collections, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY, August 2011
Warren St., Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY June 2011
Pissed Elegance, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles CA, May. 2011
Photography Now, Juried by Vince Aletti, CPW, Woodstock, NY, April 2011
Still Life in Color, Carrie Haddad Photographs, Oct. 2010
Found, Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles CA, Sept. 2010
Architectural Photography,Carrie Haddad Photographs Oct. 2009
Of and About Wood, Walter Randel Gallery, May 2009
A Look Inside, Carrie Haddad Photographs, April 2009
Born of the Moment and Method, Walter Randel Gallery, December 2008
Paper, Carrie Haddad Gallery, July 2008
Grace, Peer Gallery, NYC, NY, January 2008
The Set Up, Nicole FiaccoGallery, Hudson NY September 2007
Ex Libris,Lascano Gallery, Great Barrington MA July 2007
Into The Garden, Babylon Fine Arts, Housatonic, MA May 2007
The Regional Triennial of Photographic Arts, CPW, Woodstock, NY, September 2005
Photographing the Museum, Yancy Richardson Gallery, NYC, August, 2005
Adieu - A Farewell Exhibition, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, NYC, June 2005
7th Annual Photographic Exhibition, Carrie Haddad Gallery, March 2005
This is not an Archive, CCS Bard Hessel Collection, Bard College, NY, 2005
Still Life & Stilled Lives, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, NYC, 2005
Greed Envy Jealousy Fear, Time Space Limited, Hudson, NY, 2004
Haddad Lascano Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, 2004
Wild Flowers, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, NYC, 2004
Inaugural Exhibition, Haddad Lascano Gallery, Great Barrington, MA, 2004
6th Annual Photographic Exhibition, Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, 2004
Inside/Outside?, Observations in Nature, Upstate Art, Phoenicia, NY, 2003
Out of the Studio, Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY, 2003
The World We Live In,Upstate Art, Phoenicia, NY, 2003
Guns & Wounds, White Box Gallery Annex, NYC, 2003
Hudson Alley Project, Time Space Limited, Hudson, NY, 2002
Interiors & Exteriors, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Williamsburg, NY, 2002
Extraordinary Photographers, Carrie Haddad Gallery Hudson, NY, 2002
The Sidewalk Never Ends, Contemporary Street Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2001
Share the Vision, Cooper Union, NY, NY, 2000
Five Photographers, Columbia Green Comm. College, Hudson, NY, 2000
52 Artists We Like, Wall St. Viewing Room, NYC, 2000
Winter Show, Wendy Cooper Gallery, Madison, WI, 2000
LTD, Margaret Bodell Gallery, NYC, 1999
Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson, NY, 1999
Third Annual Photo Exhibit, Warren St. Gallery, Hudson, NY, 1994
Photograph the Place, Event & Person, Warren St. Gallery, Hudson, NY, 1993
Photographs By Chad Kleitsch, Merchant & Ivory Foundation, Claremont, NY, 1993
1992 Exhibition Of Photography, Judged by John Szarkowski, Pittsfield, MA, 1992
National Art Exhibition, World Trade Center, NYC, 1992
Wood, Fiber, Steel, Warren St. Gallery, Hudson, NY, 1992
Kanazwa College of Art, International Art Exhibition, Kanazwa, Japan, 1991
Woodstock Center For Photography Fellowship Winner 2010
Center Project Competition Runner Up 2007
Merchant & Ivory Grant, 1993
Woodstock Center for Photography 2006
Yale University, CT, 2002
Columbia Green College, NY, 1999
Sarah Lawrence College, NY 1997
Mansfield University, PA 1994
La Guardia College, NY 1993
Woodstock Center for Photography 2006-08
Bard College NY
La Guardia College, NY 2001
Columbia Green College, NY, 2000
Axinn, Veltrop, & Harkrider, LLP, New York
Samuel Dorsky Museum
Center for Photography Woodstock
Citibank Corporate Photography Collection
Woodstock Center For Photography