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April 22, 2019

Pictures of things I have never seen

Photographs by Steve Klindt

Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg IL

May 10 – June 15, 2019


Steve Klindt spent his professional career working with visual artists to present their work in American art museums.  Before he retired in 2010 he had held the position of director at art museums in Chicago, Minnesota, New York City, New Jersey and Miami and deputy director in Tampa.  He also taught in the graduate arts administration programs at New York University. But it all started for him in 1975 when he was appointed to his first director position at the Galesburg Civic Art Center. 

After receiving his Masters Degree in Photography from the University of Iowa, Klindt moved to Galesburg where he built a darkroom to continue his work as an artist.  But fate seemed to step in when he was hired as director of the Galesburg Civic Art Center and some part-time teaching at Carl Sandburg College.


Over the years it became harder and harder for him to find the time and the darkroom space to continue making art plus he had now embarked on the career path of museum director.  It wasn’t until retirement from arts administration – and the advent of digital photography – that he was able to return to making pictures.

Klindt titles his exhibition at GCAC Pictures of Things I Have Never Seen because his manipulated photographs – mostly of nature, plants and flowers – bear little resemblance to the subjects he aimed his camera at.  One reviewer of a recent exhibition wrote, “an intriguing and refreshing approach to photography, which is so often concerned with the real.  …(his) seemingly simple approach to the creation of these images seems strange and disorienting, but with a larger arching order, something to do with the creation of new worlds, or spirits seen within the trees.” 

Klindt has said he has a fascination with hidden faces, totem poles and Rorschach tests.  “I like ambiguity and mystery.  I see faces and creatures and spirits in my pictures; it’s a strange and sometimes scary world out there.”



MAY 29, 2018


Steve Klindt, Sarasota, FLA’s most enigmatic and reclusive artist using photography, has just been awarded a “Special Recognition Award” in this year’s state-wide exhibition “Florida’s Finest” at the Art Center Sarasota.


The juried exhibition was open to all Florida residents and hundreds (maybe thousands) of Sunshine State artists submitted work.  Selecting a final exhibition from all the entrants was a nearly impossible task for this year’s juror, Joe Fig, “an artist, writer and Department Head of Fine Arts/Visual Studies at Ringling College.”


“It’s a major award, that’s all I know at this time,” said Klindt when contacted at his studio at an undisclosed location in Fruitville, FLA.  “They called me the other day and told me I was to receive this major award. I guess I’ll find out more when I attend the opening reception Thursday, May 31 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. But I do know it’s a major award.”


His winning piece, “Portrait of John,” is brand-new and executed in Klindt’s now-familiar mysterious pictorial style.  Just who is John?  Klindt won’t say.  As usual, he is not saying anything about his work except his famous catchphrase, “I make pictures of things

I have never seen.”


October 20, 2017


The Harmony Gallery at Sarasota Orchestra’s Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center will present Recent Photographs by Steve Klindt from November 1, 2017 to January 2, 2018.  This will be the first one-person show of Klindt’s work since the blockbuster 10 or 20 Photographs by Steven L. Klindt at Coe College in 1972.  “That was so long ago, we were still calling them ‘one-man’ shows,” said Klindt.


The Harmony Gallery show will feature digital color prints Klindt created in 2017 while on sabbatical from his position as Founding Director and Director Emeritus of The International Center for the World Study of Photography and All Light-Sensitive Materials (ICWSPALSM) located in an undisclosed site in Fruitville, Florida.  His sabbatical was made possible by a grant from ICWSPALSM as part of Klindt being awarded their 2017 Noble Prix in Photography.


“My photography is mostly inspired by my close association and personal friendships with the world-renown photographers Jerry Uelsmann and Ansel Adams.  I have named my studio - f/64 Florida - after the legendary Group f/64 that Ansel and Willard Van Dyke established in the 1930s.  I will never forget what Ansel said to me so many years ago – ‘Hey, can you get out of my way?’  Those words have stayed with me over the years and have guided my own personal aesthetic.”


Another acknowledged influence on Klindt’s photography is Edward Weston, also a Group f/64 member.  “Even though my photographs are digital and computer generated, I still make my pictures in a completely dark room, in homage to the masters of the darkroom, like Weston.  I also work with the fingers of my left hand soaking in a weak solution of Metol-Hydroquinine, to achieve those wonderful black fingernails that Weston was famous for.”


There will be a reception for the artist on November 15 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.  The Gallery is located in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center at 709 North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. (Behind Art Center Sarasota and in front of the Van Wezel Auditorium.) A portion of the proceeds from all sales of photographs during November and December will be donated to the Sarasota Orchestra.

January 23, 2017 

Steve Klindt decides not to show in 2017 Whitney Biennial…


…opts for inclusion in the more prestigious Photography In The Age of Social Media,  at the Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery at Colby-Sawyer College. The exhibition opens at the New London NH college on February 9 and continues until March 16, 2017.  Klindt will have four photographs in the exhibition. 


Klindt gave no reasoning behind the decision not to participate in the Biennial exhibition, only citing “some alternative facts” that only he was aware of that contradicted the list of participating artists that the Whitney published in November of 2016.


“All I know is that many people, many people are telling me just how great a photographic fine art artist I am, perhaps the best since Ansel, who I adored, and that because of political pressure, my name was not on the list they published.  What is this, Nazi Germany?  I’m sure that someone found my photographs to be too decadent.  Thankfully the good folks at Colby-Sawyer in Vermont know good photographic fine art photography when offered the opportunity to show it.”  (Chuck Todd of NBC News corrected Klindt by reminding him that Colby-Sawyer College is, and always has been, in New Hampshire.  Not an alternative fact.)


Allen Frame, the New York City photographer, is the juror/curator of the exhibition.  He teaches photography at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, and the International Center of Photography. He has also taught photography workshops in Mexico and Russia. His book Detour, a compilation of his photographs over a decade, was published by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg in 2001.


Klindt issued a statement after being notified that he was one of 14 photographers included in Photography In The Age of Social Media:  “When somebody has credentials and bona fides like Frame – which are almost as good as mine – you know that you have been included in a top notch exhibition.  He taught photography workshops in Russia!”


The Fine and Performing Arts Department at Colby-Sawyer College set out to find “artists creating photographic work that deal with…change, whether by questioning, rejecting, or embracing photography in and as a social media. How are they using Social Media to define and re-define their own medium? How has this aesthetic and technological revolution of sharing photographs changed photography?”


Said Klindt: “All good questions, and I am really glad someone is asking them.  For me, as my website – – so aptly states, ‘I make pictures of things I have never seen.’  My work has been transformed by the ability to expose myself to countless people through websites, emails and social media.”


Mugar Gallery director Bert Yarborough was quoted as saying, “I’ve known Steve Klindt and his work for decades.  I’m frankly surprised he knows how to use the Internet.”


December 18, 2016

Klindt awarded Noble Prix for Photography for website

The International Center for the World Study of Photography and All Light-Sensitive Materials (ICWSPALSM) located in an undisclosed site in Fruitville, Florida, announced today that Steve Klindt is their selection for this year’s prestigious Noble Prix in Photography.


The award, known by those in photography as the “perspicacity grant,” is awarded annually to the individual who “demonstrates through their life’s work, a true devotion to Photography and All Light-Sensitive Materials.” The award committee – whose members remain anonymous – cited Klindt’s new website as the linchpin in their decision.  “It is as if the phenomenon of the website was invented just for him.”


The Noble Prix is named for Oganesson "Argon" Erdman, the German scientist who discovered noble gas and left a sizable endowment. Although never disclosed, people are saying that the Noble Prix comes with a cashier’s check for $1 million, upon which the taxes have been paid. 


Klindt was not available for comment.  It is believed he is traveling and photographing or perhaps in seclusion somewhere in Florida, where he serves as Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the International Center for the World Study of Photography and All Light-Sensitive Materials (ICWSPALSM). 


He has said that he “might think about planning” to attend the award banquet later this month.


Or not.



After decades of seeming inactivity, the renowned yet reclusive photographic artist Steve Klindt has re-surfaced in, of all places, an exhibition at the Venice (Florida) Art Center.  Two black and white photographs by the artist are included in their current all-media exhibition “Angles, Lines and Curves,” now on display through May 8, 2016.


Referred to by many as “The J.D. Salinger of Photography,” Klindt has not publicly exhibited his work since the late 1970s, the decade when he received his MA in photography from the University of Iowa, exhibited throughout the United States and had his work acquired by many institutions and individuals, including the Art Institute of Chicago.


Suddenly, in 1977, he seemingly ceased all photographic work.  Rumors had him “making only conceptual photographs” and performing one-man performance pieces alone in forests.  Whatever may have happened in those past 40 years, he has come roaring back with these photographs.  “Freeway,” a moody study of angles, lines and clouds, actually was awarded the coveted green ribbon in the exhibition, for Third Place.  Unheard of in art circles - a photograph winning a prize?


When asked to comment on the re-emergence of his fellow Florida photographic artist, the legendary Gainesville-based Jerry N. Uelsmann commented, “Who?”



Only time will tell if it will be 40 more years until we see more of the work of this genius.

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