About Robert Asman
(1951-2020) Robert Asman was born in Washington, D.C. He received a BA from Catholic University, Washington, D.C. in 1973 and an MFA from the renowned photography program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY in 1975. After a brief return to Washington, Asman lived for thirty years in Philadelphia were he taught photography at Moore College of Art & Design, Drexel University, University of the Arts and University of Pennsylvania, in addition to working as a fine art photographer and a running a commercial black and white lab. His career has been marked by several honors, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and a Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. His work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group exhibitions including at the ICA, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; West Chester University, West Chester, PA; Galerie Paviot, Paris; National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania; Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia; and The Print Center. Asman’s work is found in numerous permanent collections, including Arcadia University, Glenside, PA; Haverford College, Haverford, PA; Free Library of Philadelphia; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C. and The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA.
Idiosyncratic experimentation within the bounds of black and white photography. Asman was devoted to investigating and stretching the conceptual and technical boundaries of silver prints, through explorations of the human figure and the urban landscape. His masterful manipulation of chemistry and paper has resulted in a boundless and wondrous body of work. Asman approached art making as a transformative process, mining the physical properties of his materials to bring about an alchemical change. Process and image are merged, and result in images ranging from the sublimely beautiful to the fetishized or the startlingly violent, though often conveying an ironic humor.