Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Stages for Being
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This publication examines the photography that Ralph Eugene Meatyard created in and around Lexington, Kentucky, where he found abandoned houses in the countryside to use as sets, and directed friends and family members in scenes that suggest both ritual and theater. Establishing mood with natural lighting, he used masks, dolls and found objects as unsettling props and mined architectural detail for abstract compositional elements.Meatyard culled inspiration from a wide variety of sources. An autodidact in areas as diverse as jazz, painting, literature, history and Zen Buddhism, his voracious reading sparked endless ideas for his carefully constructed photographs. His process was also informed by consistent dialogue with a robust group of Kentucky peers, including the writer, environmental activist, and farmer Wendell Berry; photographers Van Deren Coke and Robert C. May; the Trappist monk Thomas Merton; the painter Frederic Thursz; and the writer, poet and philosopher Guy Davenport, all of whom worked in the region but were engaged with contemporary ideas and practice in their fields.
ISBN 9781882007004. University of Kentucky Art Museum.