Art and the art-world depend heavily on photo documentation and the ability of the photographer to masterfully capture the essence of a work of art in a single image. In most instances photographs of artwork are more widely seen than the actual artwork itself and fully represent much of the art we know. E.G. Schempf is a master photographer of this world.
Since the 1970’s, Schempf has been photographing the evolution of the arts in Kansas City. He has known hundreds of artists, museum curators and directors, and documented individual artist’s work as well as rare museum artifacts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that when we think of the Kansas City art scene we are basing our impression on the photographs of E.G. Schempf.
Most comfortable behind the camera, photographing artwork by others, Pedestal View, will be E.G. Schempf’s first exhibition of his own photographs. Composed of images taken in artist’s studios and galleries, often behind the scenes, Pedestal View gives us insight into the artist photographers’ vocation. Taken together these beautifully composed photographs form a portrait of the photographer. Pedestal View reveals the keen eye behind the camera and notices what is often overlooked – the tools of the trade, light falling across an empty room, and the small details of all the stages of preparation for a photo shoot. The photographer’s tripod, empty pedestals and color chart serve as a metaphor for the artist himself.
E.G. Schempf is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. His photographs have been published in virtually every major art publication as well as museum publications from every major Kansas City museum including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.