Philip Melnick


Description: C:\Users\Philip Melnick\Documents\ Web Site\PMImage1.jpg

Selected Images

1970s California

1970s Interiors

1978-1983 Wisconsin Dells and the Upper Midwest

1980s California

1990s The Artificial Desert

I have been actively involved with photography, art, music, and theater since my early teens in the late 1940s. My first nationally published photographs date from the mid-1950's. I have exhibited personal work since the mid 1960s. Since the early 1970s this work has taken the form of a number of long-term documentary-style photographic projects, presented as groups of mid- to large-scale black and white prints..

My themes have included an examination of a sense of style in the California urban landscape, the man-modified landscape of the Trans-Mississippi West, the artificial commercial landscape of the Wisconsin Dells, and most recently the character, variety, and sense of magic space, to be found in the arid plant displays of public greenhouses.

Work from these various projects has been presented in over 60 competitive and invitational group shows, several national publications, including Untitled, Exposure, Afterimage and Photography Annual 1979, and 20 public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago, and the Seagrams Collection. Represented in the Museum of Contemporary Photography's Illinois Photographers Project, 1982-1989, Midwest Photographer's Project, 1990-2000. One person shows include Orange Coast College, Kishwaukee College, the University of Chicago, the University of Oregon Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, B.C. Space, the A.R.C.O. Center for Visual Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, the Northern Illinois University Art Museum Gallery in Chicago, the Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA, and the O.K. Harris Gallery, N.Y.C.

I attended U.C. Berkeley in the mid 1950s, received a Art (1966) and an M.F.A. in Pictorial Arts (1969) from the University of California at Los Angeles. I taught painting, drawing, and photography at the University of Southern California from 1969 to 1976; photography at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California, 1976-1977, and at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois from 1977 until retiring as Professor Emeritus in June, 2000.

From 1953 through 1976, mostly in Los Angeles, I was professionally active in various aspects of the music business. My work ranged from concert and cabaret management, to record store management, record production and manufacturing, and technical theater. Throughout this period, I used my camera to make personal observations of the musicians with whom I came in contact, publishing photographs related to the music business as early as 1956. In 1957-58 I helped conceptualize The Ash Grove, the principal folk revival venue for traditional music performance in Los Angeles, and was it's first general manager. Between 1969 and 1975, I designed and/or produced photographs for some 65 albums for artists including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Canned Heat, the James Gang, Gato Barbieri, Alice Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Ray Brown, Howard Roberts, Milt Jackson, Sam Rivers, Michael White, Keith Jarrett, John Klemmer, and the Kentucky Colonels, and clients including A.B.C./Bluesways/Impulse/Westminster Records, Fantasy/Milestone Records, Liberty/U.A. Records, and Warner/Elektra Records.

The Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, California, features vintage prints of my personal work from the 1970s.

Wolfgang's Vault features a portfolio of my images of performers associated with the Ash Grove from the late 1950s through the early 1970s.


Description: C:\Users\Philip Melnick\Documents\ Web Site\PMEmail.jpg