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Paul Caponigro

(b. 1932)


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(1932– ).

Photographer. Primarily interested in black-and-white views of nature and landscape, he invests purist imagery with emotional subjectivity. He studied with Minor White and was influenced by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Born in Boston, he has lived there much of his life, although he resided for some years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He trained to become a classical pianist and attended Boston University from 1953 to 1955. Many of Caponigro's images resemble White's close-up abstractions of natural features. In “Rock Wall No. 2, West Hartford, Connecticut” (1959), faceted rocks form a muscular, cubist abstraction. Other photographs take a wider view. The romantic “Stone and Tree, Avebury, England” (1967) contrasts the organic surface of a large tree with a huge and brooding boulder nearby in a bucolic meadow. With time, Caponigro has tended to choose simpler subjects, in which he finds refined formal patterns and poetic mystery. A recent still life series presents disciplined arrangements with tonal perfection. Precisely and tenderly, “October Offering, Cushing, Maine” (1999) pictures grains and fruit composed in a shallow basket. Paul Caponigro: Masterworks from Forty Years (1993) surveys his career chronologically, Meditations in Light (1996) emphasizes landscape subjects recorded between 1966 and 1995, and New England Days (2002) offers more recent images. He currently lives in coastal Maine, near his son, photographer John Paul Caponigro (1965– ). Born in Boston and educated at Yale University and the University of California at Santa Cruz, he works extensively with digital processes.

Subjects: Art.


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