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SAM | Gus Powell: The Lonely Ones

03.15 - 05.06.2018 / 10am - 5 pm

Calendar: Exhibit
Categories: Visual Art

Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM) presents

The Lonely Ones


an exhibition of contemporary street photography by internationally renowned photographer Gus Powell

March 15 - May 6 2018 | Tues-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 1-5pm 

Powell’s photographs capture in-between moments in both urban and rural settings, where city streets and landscapes alike are sparsely populated and the action being captured is often open-ended and undefined – a solitary man appears to bag something in the undergrowth of a dead tree, a pair of muddy tire tracks lead off into the fog, and a woman exits the subway near a tarp covered vacant lot. These single frame vignettes and quietly surreal stories are meaningfully enhanced by the presence of Powell’s texts. With his words as a guide, we see the overlooked magic in a circle of rainbow-colored lawn chairs strewn around a beach fire pit or an empty road sign pointing to a snowy nowhere.

The careful ambiguity in Powell’s photographs opens up the broad opportunities for his textual associations and reconsiderations. Men on a beach boardwalk, a butterfly in flight, a typewriter in a bag – these mundane things are all the first lines of stories, and Powell is only too happy to use his spare words point us in one direction or another. His elegantly integrated phrases and pictures are rethinking how contemporary photographic narratives can be built, turning found oddities into catalysts for further wanderings of the mind. --Loring Knoblauch

For more information, contact our Associate Curator + Designer, Ashleigh Shuler, at 864.582.7616 x 254 or email

This exhibition is generously sponsored by The Arkwright Foundation, Bagwell Fence, Barnet Development, Bob's Car Wash, Santo Lubes, the Sikanas Family Charitable Fund, Kerin Hannah, Susu + George Dean Johnson Jr, and Margaret + George Nixon.

opening reception 03.15.2018 | 5-8PM

artist talk @ 6:30pm | FREE and open to the public




IMAGE: "Yes."  by Gus Powell (2015) 

Event Photos