Arthur Tress

(b. 1940)


Born in 1940, Arthur Tress was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and started experimenting with photography in his teens. After receiving his B.F.A. from Bard College in 1962 Tress traveled for four years as an ethnographic and documentary photographer. It was during this time that he spent the summer of 1964 in San Francisco. His first one-person exhibition was held simultaneously at the Smithsonian Institute and at the Sierra Gallery, NYC in 1968.  In 1971 and 1976 Tress was the recipient of grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1972.  He is noted as one of the first artists of the 1970s to break away from street photography and manipulate reality, using the photographic medium in an expressive style. A group of these images depicting the dreamscapes of children was purchased by the Getty Museum in 2014. 

Tress's photographs have been the subject of exhibitions and retrospectives worldwide and are housed in permanent collections including those at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of Art, NY; LACMA, SFMoMA; Centre Georges Pompidou; Bibliotheque Nationale; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY.  Monographs of his work include Arthur Tress: The Dream Collector, 1972; Theater of the Mind, 1976; Arthur Tress: Fantastic Voyage - Photographs 1956-2000, 2001; Memories: Photographs by Arthur Tress, Poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, 21st Editions, 2003.