First-Ever Retrospective of One of Maine’s Greatest Living Photographs on View at the PMA

Rose Marasco at PMA

“Projection No. 5” by Rose Marasco

The Portland Museum of Art is proud to present Rose Marasco: index, the latest exhibition in the PMA’s Circa series. The exhibition is the photographer’s first-ever retrospective, and the PMA is honored to bring it to its audiences. The exhibition is on view April 24 through December 6, 2015.

Rose Marasco is perhaps Maine’s most-prolific living photographer, having lived and photographed in Portland and its surrounding communities for more than 35 years.

The photographs in Rose Marasco: index are stunning and display extraordinary range, encompassing everything from her images of the urban environment to her unexpectedly poetic response to the natural world, and her exhaustive, thought-provoking examination of the domestic world of women, in which she layers historical objects with contemporary materials. It’s this diversity of both subject and technique that has long characterized Marasco’s artistry, and visitors of all interests and backgrounds will find something special to immerse themselves in.

Throughout her career, Marasco has remained uninterested in genres such as documentary, landscape, and portraiture. Instead, she has consistently mined concepts of framing, point of view, and orientation to make images with a complex relationship to the everyday image of the world.

The works on view include her comprehensive series of photographs of Maine’s Grange Halls and the images made in her own home as part of the decade-long series called Domestic Objects. Also included are photographs made in and around Portland during the past 35 years, which form a visual chronicle of the city—albeit unintended—that will engage locals and regional visitors alike.

The exhibition is organized by PMA Chief Curator Jessica May. Working with the artist for almost a year, the two have carefully culled Marasco’s photographs—more than four decades worth—for Rose Marasco: index. The result is a significant exhibition, both in volume and, most important, in the context it provides for a consummate artist and photographic career that continues to thrive to this day.

About Rose Marasco

Rose Marasco’s (b. 1948) work extends well beyond Maine and New England. Marasco was born and raised in Utica, New York, in an Italian Catholic household. After earning a BFA at Syracuse University, Marasco attended the Visual Studies Workshop (VSW) in Rochester for graduate school, taking courses and workshops there regularly throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The VSW was a start-up school, run nearly single-handedly by photographer and writer Nathan Lyons and his wife, Joan, who founded the school as a place to train photographers and to foster discussion about the nature of media arts. Their characteristic approach was to prioritize the capacity of photography to communicate information. Significantly, the students associated with VSW in the 1970s and 1980s comprise a veritable who’s who of postwar photography in the United States. In 1979, Marasco moved to Maine, where she continued a teaching career—which began five years earlier, at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute—at the University of Southern Maine, until her retirement in 2014. Her work is in the collection of many institutions, including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and the Harvard Art Museum.

Circa is a series of exhibitions featuring the work of living artists from Maine and beyond. Generously supported by S. Donald Sussman. Corporate sponsorship is provided by The VIA Agency and The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT.