Tom Bamberger

Tom Bamberger, former photography curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the city’s most prominent artists. Portrait Society’s 2016 exhibition featured images from the 1980s which were made with studio lighting, a 35 mm camera, and a very slow film officially called SO 424, a Laser Recording Film. It required special chemistry to achieve a continuous tone effect. Bamberger created a Point Light source enlarger to preserve the details. The resolution is many times higher than conventional pictorial films. The artist said, “I wasn’t interested in being old fashioned. I just wanted the surface, the details, of the photograph to appear to be a solid, like marble.”

The artist’s recent work involves digital technologies that explore questions of time and perception. Using a hi-res panoramic device known as a GigaPan, the artist cultivates exposure times of 45 minutes or more, as a way of tracking light and change over an expanded period of time. These images can then take the form of enormous horizontal compositions, measuring anywhere from 9 to 36 feet long.

Another recent piece titled “OK,” in the permanent collection of the Museum of Wisconsin Art, is an epic, three-screen narrative of silent images. Bamberger assembled and sequenced over 6,000 images of past events, people, and places. He invites the viewer to make connections as the three screens randomly sift through the images creating seemingly infinite triptychs of unrelated pictures that activate our brains to organize, label and assess the information.

Tom Bamberger’s work is included in many public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Art; Harvard Business School;  First Bank Minneapolis; Cornell College, Iowa; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He attended Boston University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied philosophy and taught mathematical logic. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the ASA Gallery at the University of New Mexico; and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Bamberger has received both a NEA grant and a fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

 

bamberger, rose

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Rose), 1976, gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 in.

Untitled, Man in diner, 1986

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Guy with Plaid Shirt), 1983, gelatin silver print, edition 2/3, 39 x 25 3/4 in. Included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC.

Unititled, mother and daughter

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Jane and Sophie), 1980s, Gelatin Silver print, artist’s proof, 25 3/4 x 39 inches. (Museum of Modern Art collection)

IMG_7220

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Kids), 1991, Gelatin Silver print, 25 3/4 x 39 inches, 1/2.

 

IMG_8848

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Boy at Buddies), 1989, silver gelatin print, 25 3/4 x 39 in. (Collection Art Institute of Chicago) 2/3.

Tom Bamberger, Ann

Tom Bamberger, Girl in Robe 1986

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Tania Thinking), 1980, gelatin silver print, 24 x 20 in., 2/3.

T

bamberger, 1988,

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Diner), 1989, gelatin silver print, 25 3/4 x 39 in., 1/2.

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Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Dad and Boy Grilling), 1991, artist proof, 25 3/4 in. x 39 in.

Unititled, Girl on Couch

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Girl on Couch), 1986, gelatin silver print, 39 x 24 3/4, last in edition, 2/2.

Tom Bamberger

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Grilling), 1986, gelatin silver print, edition2/2, 35 3/4 x 39 in.

Tom Bamberger 2

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Dad), 1984, gelatin silver print, edition 3/5, 39 x 25 3/4 in.

Bamberger, smoker

Tom Bamberger, Untitled (Sue Smoking), 1978, gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 in.. artist’s proof.