Neil Folberg - Bio

Neil Folberg

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The world depicted in landscapes by Neil Folberg is composed of a delicately constructed order where earthly elements and the heavens mirror each other. Folberg sets a land resonant with meaning against the awesome spectacle of the sky. Folberg's night landscapes carry an aura that is both earthly and divine, emphasizing the singular and poignant presence of objects against the backdrop of the infinite. His photographs describe places where the spiritual is at once near, imprinted in the forms of the arid landscapes, and far away, often in the dark, starlit recesses of space.

Neil Folberg (born 1950 in San Francisco) is widely known for his color photographs of the landscape and architecture of the Middle East and Mediterranean. Celestial Nights (Aperture Press, 2001) represented a return to black-and-white photographs, a technique he honed as a student and colleague of the late Ansel Adams. Folberg's first book was In A Desert Land (Abbeville Press, 1987); his second, And I Shall Dwell Among Them (Aperture, 1995), a study of the architecture of synagogues throughout the Jewish diaspora, received the National Jewish Book Award. Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists was published in 2005 (Abbeville Press) and his latest work, Serpent's Chronicle (Abbeville Press, 2013), represents a further evolution of Folberg’s interest in staged photography: here, the images form a continuous narrative, namely, the story of Adam and Eve, as seen through the eyes of the Serpent. 

Galleries worldwide have exhibited Folberg's work; his photographs are in collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Everson Museum in Syracuse, Nelson-Atkins Museum, San Francisco MoMA, Yale University Art Museum, Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris and the Israel Museum, among others. Folberg has lived in Israel since 1976 with his wife Anna. Joseph Folberg (Neil's father) founded Vision Gallery in San Francisco in 1981 and Neil moved it to Jerusalem in 1998 following his father's death. Vision Neil Folberg Gallery exhibits work by a group of well known artists from around the world.