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Solo Exhibition
Martha Casanave, Fictions
Curated by Cydney Payton
On View: May 20 – July 9
In-Gallery Artist Talk: June 3, 2:00 – 3:00pm
Free and open to the public

Catalog available in the gallery or order online > 

Don’t miss this retrospective exhibition with legendary photographer, educator, and writer, Martha Casanave. CPA is proud to be showing more than 60 photographs from this artist’s archive. Mark your calendars now for opening night!

Martha Casanave: Fictions features a survey of narrative photographs from 1969 to 2017. One of the few women photographers who came to be known during the 70s and 80s, Casanave is recognized for portraiture, pinhole photography and experimentations with historic photographic processes. This exhibition commences with singular portraits of artworld celebrities and others culled from her book Trajectories. Her Sequential Portraits feature individuals and families Casanave photographed over the course of decades, some up to forty years. In the long-term project False Flag, hand-colored photographs represent work done in the USSR|Russia. The ambiguous and mysterious Pinhole Narratives reflect Casanave’s more personal narrative constructions. Throughout this exhibition, we see Casanave as a picture fabricator and storyteller, weaving her own idiosyncratic truth.

MARTHA CASANAVE graduated from the Monterey Institute of International Studies with a degree in Russian Language and Literature and began her working life as a translator in Washington, DC. She later changed her career to photography, which she had engaged in passionately since childhood. From 1984 – 1995 she combined her expertise in Russian and photography by organizing tours for American photographers to meet their counterparts in the Soviet Union. She subsequently received travel grants from Polaroid and Agfa Corporations to work on projects in the USSR and to participate there in photographic symposia.

She has been an exhibiting and working photographer and educator for over forty years. Throughout the 70s and 80s, she taught many workshops and master classes in the U.S. and abroad. Since 1992, she taught photography (Beginning, Intermediate, Alternative Processes, Portraiture, History of Photography) at Monterey Peninsula College and at Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz.

She was awarded the Imogen Cunningham Photography Award in 1979 and was a 1989 recipient of the Koret Israel Prize. Her publications include: Past Lives— Photographs by Martha Casanave (Godine, 1991); Beware of Dog, (Center for Photographic Art, 2002); Explorations Along an Imaginary Coastline, (Hudson Hills Press, 2006); and Trajectories, A Half Century of Portraits, (Image Continuum Press 2014).

Casanave’s photographs are included in many major collections, such as the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the J. Paul Getty Museum , and the Graham Nash private collection.

To see more of Martha’s work, please visit her website. >

CYDNEY PAYTON is a contemporary art curator and writer who lives and works in Monterey, California. In a previous career, she was the Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Payton’s curatorial practice centers on contemporary art and experimental architecture exampled by such as exhibitions as Temporary Structures at the San Francisco Art Institute and Unbuilt San Francisco: Views from Futures Past at the California Historical Society and SPUR. Overall, she has curated over a hundred exhibitions on thematics relevant to the contemporary moment. Of note, Over One Billion Served: New Conceptual Photography for the People’s Republic of China, was the first US exhibition of conceptual photography from China. Other exhibitions have included artists such as Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, and Wangechi Mutu, and photographers Yu-Chen Chou, Jane Hammond, Anthony Giocolea, Roni Horn, Richard Misrach, Collier Schorr, and Sandy Skoglund, all to name a few. Payton holds an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts with emphasis in Architectural History and Theory. To learn more about Cydney, please visit her website. >

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