Tice, George A(ndrew) 1938-
TICE, George A(ndrew) 1938-
PERSONAL: Born October 13, 1938, in Newark, NJ; son of William S. and Margaret T. (Robertson) Tice; married Joanna Blaylock, 1958 (divorced, 1960); married Marie Tremmel, 1960 (divorced, 1976); children: Christopher, Loretta, Lisa, Lynn, Jennifer. Education: Attended high school in Newark, NJ.
ADDRESSES: Home—323 Gill Lane, No. 9B, Iselin, NJ 08830. Office—The Workshops, P.O. Box 200, 2 Central St., Rockport, ME 04856; fax: 207-236-2558. Agent—Witkin Gallery, 415 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10012.
CAREER: New School for Social Research, New York, NY, instructor in photography, 1970—. Exhibitions: Photographs included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ; Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Photographs included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1956-59.
AWARDS, HONORS: Grand Prix du Festival d'Arles, 1973, for Paterson; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, 1973; Guggenheim fellowship, 1973-74; Joint Fellowship in Photography at the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television, Bradford and Ilkley Community College, 1990-91; New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellow, 1998.
(Photographer) Millen Brand, Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1970, revised edition, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 1998.
(Photographer) George Mendoza, Goodbye, River, Goodbye (juvenile), Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1971.
Paterson, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1972.
(Photographer) Martin Dibner, Seacoast Maine: People and Places, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1973.
Photographs, 1953-1973, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1975.
Urban Landscapes: A New Jersey Portrait, Rutgers University Press, (New Brunswick, NJ), 1975.
Artie Van Blarcum, Addison House (Danbury, NH), 1977.
Urban Romantic: The Photographs of George Tice, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 1982.
Lincoln, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1984.
Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1988.
George Tice: Selected Photographs, 1953-1999, David R. Godine (Boston, MA), 2001.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Photography book on Abraham Lincoln's legacy in America.
SIDELIGHTS: Photographer George A. Tice is renowned for his technique with the 8 × 10 view camera, a large camera that allows for extremely sharp focus and exceptional depth of detail in photographs. In a career spanning half a century, Tice has also earned a reputation as a master of photographic printing techniques, particularly platinum and silver printing. Tice "produces photographic prints with exquisite detail and luminance," wrote a biographer in Peterson's Photographic. In addition to printing his own work in limited edition portfolios, Tice has also produced prints for notable photographers such as Edward Steichen, Frederick H. Evans, and Edward Weston. Tice's work in establishing the Witkin Gallery in New York "contributed to the acceptance of photography as an art form," the Peterson's Photographic biographer commented.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1938, Tice developed an interest in photography during his early teens in high school, wrote John Paul Caponigro in an interview with Tice on the John Paul Caponigro Home Page. Tice left high school at age sixteen to work as a darkroom assistant in a portrait studio in Newark, then joined the U.S. Navy at age seventeen, where he served as a photographer's mate. After his military stint, Tice worked as a home portrait photographer for ten years before he started creating the photographic essays and richly realized photographs of urban settings that would ensure his reputation as a skilled technical photographer and an insightful observer of the most telling details in American life and landscapes.
Tice's work has been featured in dozens of shows and permanent exhibitions in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. "For Mr. Tice, time has a way of standing still," wrote Margarett Loke in an exhibition review in the New York Times. "He finds quiet, enduring beauty in such places as the interior of a Shaker building in Maine; in a ghostly ribbon of a road in Lancaster, PA; and in a tree trunk in Paterson that bears the hieroglyphics of time." Ken Johnson, writing in a New York Times review of Tice's Urban Landscapes show (featuring photographs of urban subjects taken mostly in New Jersey), observed, "The pictures have an almost supernatural lucidity and are invariably perfectly composed…. They are also impeccably printed by the artist himself, a famously masterly craftsman." Benjamin Genocchio, reviewing a show of Tice photographs at Art Forms in Red Bank, New Jersey, remarked, "It is the ordinary things that he photographs, things that you or I might not notice, although he approaches and records them with such loving care that the final images transcend their humble subject matter." Tice "is not finding beauty in the ordinary here; he is making it," Genocchio wrote.
Books of Tice's photographs have fared equally well among reviewers. In his book Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album, Tice documents everyday life in Amish and Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania. Originally published in 1970 and updated in 1998, Tice's photographs and Millen Brand's text "express the quiet, simple lives of the Pennsylvania Dutch unobtrusively and with deep understanding," commented C. Robert Nixon in Library Journal. A Publishers Weekly reviewer observed that "the whole album exudes an inner radiance, managing to transcend idyllic sentimentality to become a sociological document." Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, called Fields of Peace "the finest single work about the Amish, and Tice's photos in it have acquired iconic status."
Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage features Tice's photographic examinations of a trio of American hometowns that have produced well-known sons: James Dean's hometown of Fairmount, Indiana; Ronald Reagan's boyhood home of Dixon, Illinois; and Mark Twain's storied Hannibal, Missouri. Tice explores the towns as they are, but with a nod toward what they were and what they became after the rise of their famous residents. "With his usual concern for illuminating the architectural spirit of a place, Mr. Tice surveys these towns carefully and sympathetically," without ornamentation or false emotion, remarked Andy Grundberg in the New York Times Book Review. Tice's "work is perfect," commented George Cushman in the PSA Journal. "Every one of the eighty-eight pictures is flawless, perfectly exposed, accurately developed and printed (apparently with an 8 × 10 view camera, the detail is so sharp), and the reproduction by the printer is absolutely A-1." Real-life locations that inspired Mark Twain's work are depicted, as are snow-covered streets and buildings that still exist in much the same state as James Dean and Ronald Reagan saw them in their youth. Tice's "photographs add up to a portrait of small-town life whose persistence is both amazing and a pleasure to behold," observed Ralph Novak in People.
George Tice: Selected Photographs, 1953-1999 collects nearly fifty years of Tice's best, and best-known, works, including rural and urban landscape photographs, intimate portraits, and grand panoramas. Simple geometric forms—crosses, curves, angles—form structural anchors for black-and-white pictures of humans and inanimate objects alike. "Tice produces supremely composed pictures, in that they are both sublimely still and exquisitely arranged," Olson remarked.
"Tice constructs a social and cultural portrait of the gritty New Jersey environs where he grew up" in Urban Landscapes, wrote Lauren Porcaro in the New Yorker. Deeply textured, precisely composed images of the common sights of New Jersey, including restaurants, vehicles, storefronts, and water towers, reveal beauty in the most ordinary of scenes. "Documenting the place is principally what I do," Tice remarked in the interview with Caponigro. "The bulk of my photographs are of New Jersey. It may have been a subject series, like ice or aquatic plants, that could have been anywhere, but it was done in New Jersey. Most of my pictures are about place. I would say the Urban Landscape work is what is most distinctive about me."
George A. Tice once told CA that "photography is whatever we want it to be."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
A Library of World Photography, texts by David Plowden and Ian Jeffrey, London, England, 1984.
Appel, Alfred, Signs of Life, Knopf (New York, NY), 1983.
Curtin, Dennis P. and Joe DeMaio, The Darkroom Handbook, Curtin & London (Marblehead, MA), 1979.
Davies, Sue, and others, Concerning Photography (exhibition catalog), [London, England], 1977.
Di Grappa, Carol, editor, Landscape: Theory, Lustrum Press (New York, NY), 1980.
Doty, Robert, Photography in America, introduction by Minor White, Random House (New York, NY), 1974.
Hafey, J., and T. Shilea, The Platinum Print, [Rochester, NY], 1980.
Lewis, Eleanor, Darkroom, Lustrom Press (London, England), 1977.
Photography Year 1973, Time-Life Books (New York, NY), 1972.
Rosenblum, Naomi, A World History of Photography, Abbeyville Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Szarkowski, John, Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960 (exhibition catalog), [New York, NY], 1978.
The Print, Time-Life Books (New York, NY), 1970.
Witkin, Lee D., and Barbara London, The Photograph Collector's Guide, New York Graphic Society (Boston, MA), 1979.
Witkin, Lee D., editor, A Ten Year Salute: A Selection of Photographs in Celebration: The Witkin Gallery, 1969-1979, Addison House (Danbury, NH), 1979.
Afterimage, summer, 1984, review of Lincoln, p. 35; March, 1999, review of Fields of Peace: A Pennsylvania German Album, p. 23.
Art International, November, 1972, S. Schwartz, review of Paterson.
Booklist, January 15, 1989, review of Hometowns: An American Pilgrimage, p. 833; September 15, 2001, Ray Olson, review of George Tice: Selected Photographs, 1953-1999, p. 178; January 1, 2002, review of George Tice, p. 757.
British Journal of Photography, March 25, 1977, Gerry Badger, review of Urban Landscapes: A New Jersey Portrait.
Camera 35, November, 1976, Peggy Sealfon, review of Urban Landscapes.
Camera Arts, June, 1983, Barbara London, "Romantic Notions."
Choice, July, 1984, review of Lincoln, p. 1601.
Darkroom/Photography, July-August, 1980, R. Hilliard, "Magic and the Fine Print."
Du (Zurich, Switzerland), December, 1971, P. Killer, review of Fields of Peace.
Fessenden Review, number 13, 1989, review of Hometowns, p. 69.
Houston Chronicle, March 9, 1999, Patricia C. Johnson, "Fields of Peace: Amish Life Viewed through the Lens of George Tice," review of Fields of Peace photography exhibit, p. 1.
Library Journal, November 1, 1982, Julia Van Haaften, review of Urban Romantic: The Photographs of George Tice, p. 2090; January, 1999, C. Robert Nixon, review of Fields of Peace, p. 134.
Modern Photography, February, 1975, Julia Scully, "George Tice: Craft and Vision."
New Jersey Monthly, January, 1980, N. Sullivan, "The Native Eye."
New Yorker, January 27, 2003, Lauren Porcaro, "City Lights," review of Urban Landscapes, p. 20.
New York Times, December 4, 1988, Andy Grundberg, review of Hometowns; November 10, 2000, Margarett Loke, review of George Tice photography exhibition, New York, NY, p. E37; August 2, 2002, Ken Johnson, "Creating Visual Poetry from Industrial Grit," review of George Tice: Urban Landscapes photography exhibition, p. E34; August 3, 2002, Benjamin Genocchio, "Finding the Romantic Side of the Vistas of New Jersey," review of George Tice photography exhibition, Red Bank, NJ, p. 14NJ9.
New York Times Book Review, December 4, 1988, review of Hometowns, p. 20.
Pearson's Photographic, October, 1983, profile of George Tice, pp. 34-35.
People, January 9, 1989, Ralph Novak, review of Hometowns, p. 30.
Photo District News, September, 2002, Andrew Zipern, review of George Tice: Urban Landscapes photography exhibit, p. 124.
Photographer's Forum, November, 1988, article by James Kaufman.
Popular Photography, July, 1985, review of Lincoln, p. 86.
PSA Journal, February, 1990, George Cushman, review of Hometowns, pp. 10-11.
Publishers Weekly, January 20, 1984, review of Lincoln, p. 81; November 30, 1998, review of Fields of Peace, p. 61.
Sovetskoye Photo (Moscow, Russia), March, 1985, M. Leontiev, "Photos of George A. Tice."
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 4, 1988, review of Hometowns, p. 5.
Valokuva (Helsinki, Finland), May, 1984, Harri Hietala, "George A. Tice."
View Camera, July-August, 1996, John Paul Caponigro, "Dialogs: George Tice," interview with George Tice.
John Paul Caponigro Home Page, http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/ (February 6, 2004), "Dialogs: George Tice," interview with George Tice.*