Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Visual Arts 1998

Roger Newton

A black and white portrait of Roger Newton. Only Newton's head and neck is visible. He wears a white collared shirt and is bald. He smiles. In the background, there is a circular target against an otherwise plain background.
Self-portrait by Newton, 8x10 inches, gum bichromate print.
  • 1998 Grants to Artists
  • Visual Arts
  • Photographer
  • Born New Rochelle, NY, 1960
  • Lives in New York, NY

Artist Statement

I make photographs that depict not so much the world that exists in front of the camera, but invisible phenomena, which are mediated by the relationship of the situation and the imaging system. As with any organizing principle, the type of information collected is as much a part of the methods used to obtain the data as it is of the field being studied. I make photographic lenses that reveal aspects of the scene that conventional lenses would never “see." My lenses are usually made of mineral oil, corn syrup, water, glycerin, or other refracting liquids. By designing and fabricating my own lenses I can control the quality of the light collected, the size and shape of the image field, and the colors of the scene. This allows me to work more directly with fundamental problems in the processes of seeing and perception, and ultimately ontological problems of the thing and/or scene depicted. I like my pictures to be re-orienting and/or disorienting, revealing the world uncertain.

- 1998


Roger Newton is a photographer who creates large abstract images, building his own camera and making his own liquid lenses and film stocks, rather than using standard photographic processes. In his earlier work he created black and white images on wood, and in 1998 he began experimenting with color photography.

Netwon's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at David Zwirner Gallery, Andrew Roth, Janet Borden, and Galerie Thomas von Lintel, in Munich. His work has been included in group exhibitions at Paolo Baldacci Gallery, White Columns, Robert Miller Gallery, the Neuberger Museum of Art; SUNY, Purchase; Fotomuseum Winterthur in Zurich, and Frankfurter Kunstverein/Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt.

In 1998, Newton was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in the same year of his Grants to Artists award. He earned a B.F.A. from SUNY, Purchase, and in 1999, following his FCPA grant he was a visiting artist there.