Ralph Gibson  (American, 1939) 

Ralph Gibson (American, b.1939) is a respected photographer known for his contrasting imagery and erotic subject matter. Gibson was born in Los Angeles, CA, and studied photography while in the United States Navy. He later attended the San Francisco Art Institute and worked as an assistant to Robert Frank (Swiss, b.1924) and Dorothea Lange (American, 1895–1965). Gibson has worked primarily with a Leica camera since the beginning of his career. His photographs often feature nude models in surreal poses. Infanta is a typical representation of his work. The piece features a woman with a prominent tattoo against a dark background.

Gibson was enamored with the idea of making books, and, in 1970, Somnambulist was published. The book features black-and-white photographs of nude figures, stormy skies, and haunting images of a house. Gibson describes his style as spontaneous. In a recent interview he stated: "I've attempted to take pictures of simple things, you know, like a cardboard box, or a chair, or a spoon. Very humble objects. I'm not terribly drawn towards the epic event." Gibson has completed over 40 books. Many were self-published under his company, Lustrum Press. Gibson started the publishing house in 1970 to bring his work to a larger audience. His most recent book, State of the Axe, features images of 60 popular guitarists playing their instruments.

Gibson is a highly acclaimed artist who has won many awards. He received three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1973, 1975, and 1986. In addition, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985. The photographer also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Leica Medal of Excellence, and the Silver Plumb Award. He is a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, which is an honor only bestowed on those who have made significant contributions to the arts. Gibson holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University, and, in 2007, he earned The Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography. His work has been displayed by more than 150 venues around the world. Gibson continues to live and work in New York.

Find Ralph Gibson artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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In Art Galleries (30)
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In Past Auctions (457)

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Ralph Gibson, Untitled


Ralph Gibson
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ralph Gibson, Untitled


Ralph Gibson
Fashion Pictures Inter'l
Ralph Gibson, -------------


Ralph Gibson

(Art) Amalgamated
Ralph Gibson, Leda


Ralph Gibson

Opus Art Ltd
Ralph Gibson, Leda


Ralph Gibson

Ralph Gibson, Untitled


Ralph Gibson
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Ralph Gibson, Mary Ellen, Hand


Ralph Gibson
Mary Ellen, Hand

Etherton Gallery
Ralph Gibson, Untitled


Ralph Gibson

Camera Work
Ralph Gibson, Front of Car


Ralph Gibson
Front of Car

Camera Work
Past auction results (457)  View All
Ralph Gibson, Untitled (from the Somnambulist)


Ralph Gibson
Untitled (from the Somnambulist), 1974
gelatin silver print


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Ralph Gibson, Baby's Hand with Guitar


Ralph Gibson
Baby's Hand with Guitar, 1960-1961
gelatin silver print


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Ralph Gibson, Untitled (Bastienne's Eye)


Ralph Gibson
Untitled (Bastienne's Eye), 1987
gelatin silver print


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1939   Born in Los Angeles, California
1956 - 1960   Studied photography in the U.S. Navy
1960 - 1962   San Francisco Art Institute
1961 - 1962   Assistant to Dorthea Lange
1967 - 1968   Assistant to Robert Frank
1986   Decorated, Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France
1988   Leica Medal of Excellence Award
1989   "150 Years of Photography" Award, Photographic Society of Japan
1991   Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Maryland
1994   Grand Medal of the City of Arles, France
1997   Doctor of Fine Arts, Ohio Wesleyan University
2002   Appointed, Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France
  Lives and works in New York, NY
2006   Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy
2006   Parcours, Galerie Lucie Weill & Seligmann, Charles Zalber
2005   Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy
2005   Sun Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2005   University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, KY
2004   The Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida
2004   The Hermes Store Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
2004   The Hermes Store Gallery, New York City, NY
2004   The Ross Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH
2003   Moscow House of Photography, Russia
2003   The Drabinsky Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2002   Simon Patrich Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
2002   The Benham Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2002   Galerie Aittuares, Paris, France
2002   Galerie Lucie Weil Seligman, Paris, France
2001   Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson
2001   Bjorn Wetterling, Stockholm, Sweden
2000   Kerava Art Museum, Kereva, Finland
2000   Galerie Lucie Weil Seligman, Paris, France
2000   Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, England
2000   Galerie Bodo Neimann, Berlin, Germany
2000   Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy
2000   Casino Bellevue, Biarritz, France
1999   Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
1998   Museum für Kunst Modern, Frankfurt, Germany
1998   Tower Gallery, Yokohama, Japan
1998   Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville. S.C.
1998   Galerie Bodo Neiman,Documenta, Basel, Switzerland
1998   Narodni Muzei Zadar, Croatia
1998   Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle, Washington
1998   Sandra Berler Gallery, Chevy Chase, Maryland
2005    Brazil, by Ralph Gibson. Damiani, Bologna.
2005    Refractions, by Ralph Gibson. Steidl Publishing, Germany.
2004    Light Strings: Impressions of the Guitar, by Ralph Gibson and Andy Summers. Chronicle Books, San Francisco.
2001    Ex Libris, by Ralph Gibson. powerHouse Books, New York.