Stephen Althouse

Axe, Wood, and Shroud, 2003
Pigmented inkjet print
42 x 60 inches, 107 x 152 cm

Rake I, 2003
Pigmented inkjet print
42 x 31 inches, 107 x 79 cm

Nail and String, 2003
Pigmented inkjet print
42 x 31 inches, 107 x 79 cm

Tools and Shrouds

Artist-photographer Stephen Althouse’s personal experiences serve as inspiration for his visual expressions of life. He combines found or fabricated objects into cryptic assemblages and then photographs the assemblages onto large format film. Lacing his images with visual autobiographical narrative themes that recur and criss-cross throughout his images, Althouse has created a unique and mysterious visual language of personal symbols and metaphors.

Awarded a 2003-2004 Fulbright Research Fellowship, Althouse resided in Belgium, creating work as an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Liège. He received additional grants from Epson/Seiko and Hahnemühle papers of Germany in support of his fine art digital printing. In addition to being widely exhibited, his fine art photography has been extensively collected by major museums and private collectors throughout North America, South America, and Europe.

Althouse was raised in rural Buck County, Pennsylvania and received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University.  For 30 years he has lived in Miami where he has held a position of Professor of Fine Arts at Barry University, and has also been periodically teaching in Paris, London, Madrid, and South America. Currently his residence and studio is in central Pennsylvania.

A print of Rake I was donated to Photomedia Center's permanent print collection as a gift from the artist.

Often featuring objects like saws, chisels and wrenches, Althouse’s images also serve as monuments to human labor and the significance and value of work. Whether depicting the sinuous leather straps of an old bridle or the well-scrubbed ridges of an ancient wooden washboard, the images of Althouse’s artifacts become powerful visual metaphors for the lives of the people who have used them. Through his unique command of extreme photographic detail, Althouse reveals the worn and scarred surfaces of his artifacts, the presence of generations of hands that have held them, and references the timeless untold challenges and struggles of common people confronting their daily tasks.
— Joanne Cubbs, Mark McPhail, Gene Metcalf, Art Critics and Curators, Art Museum Miami University, Oxford, Ohio