2012 Baum Award Winner – Eric William Carroll

San Francisco Camerawork

March 13, 2012

The 2012 Baum Award for
An Emerging American Photographer:
Eric William Carroll

May 4–June 30, 2012

SF Camerawork
1011 Market Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, California


The Baum Foundation is pleased to announce Eric William Carroll as recipient of The 2012 Baum Award for An Emerging American Photographer. He will exhibit a selection of works from the past few years that explore photography’s technological history at SF Camerawork. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be Carroll’s recreation of a full-scale group darkroom, titled This Darkroom’s Gone to Heaven. Carroll will also receive his 10,000 USD grant from The Baum Foundation.

Lined with shadows of missing equipment and lit with the somber glow of safelights, Carroll repurposes the idea of a communal darkroom from a place of production into a venue for observation and dialogue. During the exhibition’s 8-week run, Carroll, along with several guest photographers, will meet at Camerawork to engage in a dialogue about their favorite dead photographers and technologies. Carroll says, “The Baum Award could not have come at a better time—the recognition and exhibition come as both a ‘pat-on-the-back’ and a challenge to continue pushing my work and the photographic medium into new and exciting prospects.”

While This Darkroom’s Gone to Heaven may mirror our own humanity by highlighting the mortality of technology, equipment, and spaces, other works in the exhibition will speak to the fallibility of human endeavors. These include Carroll’s cyanotypes based on the drawings of Henry Fox Talbot, photographs of hand drawn camera calibration charts, as well as a large format photograph produced using a fogged negative; each work representing a “failed” attempt to perfect photographic technologies or to truly master drawing a straight line.

About the Artist:
Born and raised in the Midwest, Eric William Carroll currently resides in San Francisco. His work has been exhibited in numerous cities including: Fotohof in Salzburg, Austria; the Camera Club of New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Carroll has participated in residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Rayko Photo Center, and the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary.

About the 2012 Baum Jury:
Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography and Chief Curator at the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Sean McFarland, Artist, educator, and recipient of the 2009 Baum Award
Chuck Mobley, Director, San Francisco Camerawork
Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, UC Santa Barbara
Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies and Director C.N. Gorman Museum at UC Davis

About the Baum Award:
The aim of The Baum Award is to promote photography as an art form by recognizing a talented and innovative emerging photography artist. “Emerging” is defined as someone who has not yet had a comprehensive one-person museum exhibition or published monograph.

The winner of The Baum Award is to mount an exhibition at SF Camerawork and to provide a 10,000 USD grant to assist the artist in their efforts to pursue their creative work as a photographer. SF Camerawork has administered this award on behalf of the Baum Foundation and served as the host institution for the artist exhibition since 2008.

Twenty-five contemporary artists submitted 2 photographers that came from five regions in the United States to encourage as broad a cross-section of nominees as possible.

Past recipients of The Baum Award include: Christopher Sims (2010); Sean McFarland (2009); Mike Brodie (2008); Lisa Kereszi (2005); Katy Grannan (2004); Luis Gispert (2003); and Deborah Luster (2001).

About SF Camerawork:
Founded in San Francisco in 1974 by a group of local artists, SF Camerawork’s mission is to encourage and support emerging artists to explore new directions in the photographic arts. Through exhibitions, publications, and educational programs, the organization strives to create an engaging platform for artistic exploration as well as community involvement and inquiry.

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