John R. Pepper “Evaporations”

22nd Nov. 2016 – 18th Jan. 2017


The Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo and the United States of America Embassy to Italy, present the personal exhibition of photographer

John R. Pepper

 22nd Nov. 2016 – 18th Jan. 2017

Press review 21st November at 11:00

Fondazione Terzo Pilastro Museo
Palazzo Cipolla
via del Corso 320 – Rome


John Randolph Pepper’s personal exhibition entitled “Evaporations” is made up of a series of photographs taken between 2012 and 2013 in the United States, Russia, Finland, Spain, Greece and Italy, compromising over 50 works of different dimensions.  Following his debut at Palermo’s Galleria di Paolo Morello, which also presented his book “Evaporations”, published by the Istituto Superiore per la Storia della Fotografia, the exhibition of the same title was presented at the 14th Biennale di Architettura in Venice, from whence it transferred to the Rosphoto National Museum of Photography in Saint Petersburg, and then on to museums in Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, and Samara, then, in 2016, to The Gallery for Classic Photography in Moscow.  “Evaporations” was also part of the PhotoMed Festival of Photography held in France.  The exhibition’s evocative photographs, that the Pepper took of the lonely people he met by chance on his travels from one continent to another, between land and sky where everything evaporates in the recurrent flow of time, will remain forever in our memories.  Pepper is an observer, often from afar, portraying the life of man in his most essential forms detached from cultural or temporal specifics.  He is a member of that diminishing club of street photographers, forever armed with a 35mm camera, waiting for situations to present themselves spontaneously.  Loyal to classic traditions, he works with analogical cameras and black and white film, framing images and showing them for what they are, in a vision of the world in which realism contrasts with a quasi-mysterious tale, the physical observation with the psychic revelation.  One of the more salient aspects of his photography is the way in which they reject time –something that might seem a contradiction with the very nature of photography.

As pointed out by the exhibition’s curator, art critic Roberta Semeraro: «Pepper’s photographs are timeless, meaning it is difficult to give a precise temporal connotation of when the photograph was taken.  These people, not affected by fashion or trends, are dressed and undressed with simplicity according to the physical conditions of the environment in which they live, be it to shelter from the cold when the water freezes (in the photographs taken on the American, Russian and Finnish coasts) or from the heat (on the beach at Barcelona). Like Swan, dunking his pastry into his tea, reminds him of eating them as a child on a Sunday morning before going to Mass, so Pepper relives his lost time in his photographs.».

«I decided to welcome this exhibition to our Museum of Palazzo Cipolla,” declared Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, Chairman of the Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo, “because John Pepper’s photographs possess an evocative charm reminiscent of the great reportages of old, in black and white, packed with realism while at the same time being ringed by a poetic, almost epochal halo.  Pepper’s images – who during his artistic journey was influenced by his war correspondent father, and photographers Ugo Mulas and Henri Cartier Bresson – portray places and individuals without filters, showing the intrinsic imperfections of human beings and the world in which they live and work – -and it is because of this that they feel so real and timeless.  John Pepper is a 360-degree artist, whose significant experience in the world of cinema, as well as theatre, adds a touch of neorealism to his photograph».

“Evaporations” ends it European journey in Rome, Pepper’s city of origin, the Eternal City where the artist catches up on his lost time.

2016 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Gallery of Classic Photography (Moscow, Russia)
2016 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Museum of Modern Art (Dom Kurlinoj Museum) (Samara, Россия)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Russian Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Russian State Museum of Art (Omsk, Russia)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Russian State Museum of Art (Novosibirsk, Russia)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Gallery of Modern Art ARKA (Vladivostok, Russia)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Russian State Art Museum (Irkutsk, Russia)
2015 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, PhotoMed Photography Festival (Sanary-sur-Mer, France)
2014 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Officina delle Zattere (Venice Arch. Biennale) (Venice, Italy)
2014 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Rosphoto National Photography Museum (St. Petersburg, Ru.)
2014 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Palazzo Esposizioni (Rimini, Italy)
2014 –  “Evaporations/Испарения”, Studio Gallery di Paolo Morello (Palermo, Italy)



John Randolph Pepper (Rome, 1958) is an Italian-American photographer, screenwriter, actor, and theatre and film director, who comes from a family of established artists, such as sculptor Beverly Pepper, poet Jorie Graham, and journalist/writer Curtis Bill Pepper, who gave John his first camera, a Pentax, at the age of twelve.

Pepper developed under the influence of Henri Cartier Bresson, Sam Show, John Ross and David Seymour, who spent time in his family home.  At only fourteen years of age he became assistant to Ugo Mulas, who, over a summer vacation from school, taught him the basics of Street Photography.  For thirty years, Pepper dedicated himself to photography while directing both theatre and film.

The photographic exhibition ‘Rome: 1969 – A Tribute to Neo-Realist Cinema’ brought him back to Italy where, in 2011, Lanterna Magica Edizioni published his first book of photographs, ‘Sans Papier’. Exhibitions were organized in Rome, Venice, Saint Petersburg, Paris and Palermo.  In 2012 and 2013, Saint Petersburg’s Manège Museum put on 3 exhibitions of Pepper’s photographic works, and in Italy, in 2014, the Istituto Superiore per la Storia Della Fotografia published his book, ‘Evaporations’.  After Palermo, the exhibition was presented at the Officina delle Zattere in Venice (14th Biennale di Architettura), at the Rosphoto State Museum and from 2015 to 2016 another nine important Russian museums.

Currently, Pepper is preparing his next photographic project (and book to be published in 2018) ‘Deserts / Droughts’, in which he explores deserts and their effects on time, history and people.  Seeing these works, one wonders if the presence of man has changed the landscape, or if that landscape (the desert) has remained pure and untouched as it was before the advent of man.
Wikipedia. johnrandolphpepper


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