Carl Toth, Untitled, 1982 Four-color offset lithograph. Collection Cranbrook Art Museum. Photo: PD Rearick
Carl Toth: Reordering Fictions examines various bodies of work that the artist created over his more than forty-year career, from early black and white photography to his pioneering work in alternative photographic techniques. Through his interest in torquing reality, Toth sought to expand the field of photography through his exploration of the SX-70 Polaroid camera and his adoption of the photocopier as his camera lens of choice. Toth’s intricate use of collage and photomontage resulted in masterful compositions of complex still-life tableaux, toeing the line between representation and abstraction.
Carl Toth (1947–2022) served as Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Photography Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art from 1972 until 2007, shaping generations of students. Toth brought a personal interest in literature and literary theory to the Academy at a time when such ideas were just beginning to redirect the medium. The title, Reordering Fictions, is derived from a quote by the artist—a nod to the Toth’s affinity for the written word and the constructed nature of the realities that accompany photographic representation.
Carl Toth: Reordering Fictions is the first museum exhibition to reassess Toth’s legacy in photography.Carl Toth: Reordering Fictions is organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Kat Goffnett, Assistant Curator of Collections. The exhibition is supported, in part, by the George Francoeur Art Museum Exhibition Fund, ArtPack Services, Inc., and ArtMembers of Cranbrook Art Museum.
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