Marian Roth: On Bended Light

A Retrospective

May 5 - July 16, 2017

Curated by:
Patrick Davis
Opening Reception:
Friday, May 12, 6pm

About the Exhibition

Marian Roth moved to Provincetown in 1982 to fulfill a dream of living and making art in a community of creative people.  She has never thought of leaving. Well-known in the world of photography for her innovative camera obscura work, Marian has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner Fellowship, a fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and was honored with a lifetime award for artistic excellence by PAAM. Most recently she installed a walk-in camera obscura during an exhibition of her work at the Griffen Museum of Photography. She currently exhibits in Provincetown with AMP Gallery.

Spanning more than 20 years of Marian Roth’s groundbreaking work, On Bended Light explores themes as specific as life on Cape Cod and as universal as the search for home and self. However, there is only one primary subject that has captured and inspired Roth’s imagination consistently – time. Where more traditional photographic artists might strive to document “a moment in time,” Roth captures time itself. Through her work, we experience the gravitational weight and internal waiting that defines time; the absences left when death or illness rips time away or apart; and the illusory memories and impressions that remain when time has passed.

Roth has said she works to present “what the eye cannot see,” and this poetic, at times elegiac, quality to her work is balanced and challenged by the insistent materiality of nearly all her pieces. Through collaged color positives, hand-coated emulsion negatives, lithographed figures, digital prints of the creative process itself, or rough layerings of paint, we can always see Roth at work. Whether from her Provincetown studio or inside one of the experimental cameras she has built and inhabited, Roth’s work, ultimately, shows the artist engaged in the most heroic of efforts: to bend light, to slow time and to exist a bit longer.

Curator Bio

Patrick T. Davis has been an avid collector of experimental and contemporary art for more than 20 years, with a particular interest in photography and works that break the boundaries of traditional genres or media. He was introduced to Marian Roth’s work through a local Provincetown gallery and has since developed a close personal and working relationship with the artist, and is today the leading collector of her work.

Ancillary Events

Catalog Release Party

Friday, June 2, 6-8:30pm, free and open to the public

Join us as we celebrate the release of the catalog for Marian Roth: On Bended Light. The artist will be signing copies, and light refreshments will be served.


Fredi Schiff Levin Lecture

Tuesday, June 13, 6pm, $10 general admission (free for PAAM members)

Join exhibition artist Marian Roth and curator Patrick Davis for a discussion on the importance of bending time, light, and memory in Roth’s visual art.