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Daiter, Stephen (Editor/Publisher) & Erickson, Robert Donald (Photographer). ROBERT DONALD ERICKSON: THE LENS OF THE TOTAL DESIGNER. Chicago, IL: Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2003. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 32 pages. As New.

Exhibition catalog. The first and only edition. Published in a very small and limited print run as a softcover original only. There is no ISBN. An austerely elegant production by David W. Williams: Regular-sized volume format. Plain softcovers, as issued. Photographs by Robert Donald Erickson. Introduction by Diane Erickson. Biography and List of Publications appended at the end. Printed on thick coated stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. In integral pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine and very large flaps, as issued. Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name held at the Stephen Daiter Gallery Chicago from November 7, 2003 through January 3, 2004. Presents some of the photographer's most enduring, most arresting, and most austerely beautiful work. Robert Donald Erickson is best-known as the closest protege of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, the founder of the Institute of Design. The ID is regarded as the finest photography school ever established in the United States. Erickson was a true Renaissance Man who was a master of all trades: Nature, science, mathematics, music, art, and foreign languages. He heard about what Moholy-Nagy was doing with photography and decided to see for himself. As he describes it in his notes, it was the turning point of his life. While he continued to create sculptures, paintings, drawings, and strikingly original designs for children's toys, furniture, and jewelry, "the camera has replaced the sketch pencil in my own visual search for the beautiful" (Robert Donald Erickson). Erickson became the very first to graduate with a Master's Degree from the Institute of Design and was one of its most ardent proponents. Hollywood-handsome and charismatic, he taught photography to anyone who cared for his rigorous (but always stimulating) classes: Among his students were Moholy-Nagy's own daughters, Hattula and Claudia as well as many of today's most established photographers, who have become teachers to the new generation of aspiring art photographers. He also kept taking photographs all his life, assisted by his patient wife, whom he dragged late at night to photograph Chicago's nocturnal landscape, searching for the proper angles and lighting to capture something fresh and original about the mundane Merchandise Mart or the bridges over the Chicago River. After Moholy-Nagy's death, Erickson went through a period of depression. Part of his entire sensibility was that he was always the student par excellence, who needed a mentor even though he had long since found his own distinctive voice and style. He eventually established close ties with the great photographers Nathan Lerner and Harry Callahan as well as visionary teacher/thinkers like Buckminster Fuller and Bruno Bettelheim. The composer Arnold Schoenberg was treated to a private recital of his music (Erickson had a beautiful voice and considered a career in music) and became a lifelong friend. "This playful artist continually expanded his own visual sensibility in an effort to show others by example how to see beyond" (Diane Erickson). Anyone who discovers his great photographs is not likely forget them and will become an instant fan of one of photography's most underappreciated talents, that is to say, someone who indeed lets one see what is beyond. A "must-have" title for Robert Donald Erickson collectors. This title was not sold commercially to the public and is now collectible. This is one of very few copies still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. 30 tritone plates. One of the finest American photographers of the 20th century. A flawless copy. . $30.00

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