Tom Schiff: Surrounded by Art
The desire to represent the world in an all-encompassing, immersive experience has sparked the creativity of painters and photographers for many centuries. This drive led to the invention of artistic panoramas which were especially popular during the 19th century in Europe and the United States.
Cincinnati-based photographer Tom Schiff utilizes this photographic panorama technique by understanding the intricacies of his camera of choice—the Cirkut. For years Schiff traveled the country capturing dynamic exterior and interior images of various buildings with a particular eye for museums. His photographs harness the distorted curvature of the panorama format to create a personal view of his subjects. In his selection of museums, Schiff focuses on the architectural significance of the building architecture rather than the artwork on display. The resulting images interpret building designs through elongated and sequenced compositions. Using artistic license as well as a deliberate framing and moving of the camera, Schiff turns the museum into a medium. This approach captures the iconic quality of landmark United States museum architecture while highlighting their connections and idiosyncrasies across time and space.
This is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s museum panoramas. It is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue published by Rizzoli Electa. In addition, the exhibition includes a VR experience of Schiff’s images.
Raphaela Platow, Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center