Beautiful Nuns, 2006; Epson archival pigment print; 26 x 36 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles


Lenzner Family Art Gallery Inaugural Exhibition

Fredric Roberts: HUMANITAS
September 17 – October 31, 2007

This exhibition is about relationships. Fredric Roberts’ photographs tell stories of beauty and grace, work and family, spirituality and devotion. Echoing travel photographs of Asia taken decades ago, the works on display are concerned with the present and its link to the past, focusing on individual and collective identity.

Roberts’ photographs reveal the interiority of a place, its daily life, and the traditional ceremonies that are associated with it. The images shown here—taken in India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China—engage the viewer through the interactions of the photographer with his subjects. We sense Roberts’s commitment to explore complex stories and relationships with his lenses. In essence, Roberts’ photographs are exchanges with the subjects as well with as the viewers. They reveal the rapport Roberts establishes with his subjects as well as the subjects’ elegance and self-possession.

A sense of order filters through the photographer’s creation of shifting focus and photographic planes. As we ponder the different focal points along the axis from foreground to background, we ultimately understand the visual language of the photography, reading the middle ground as a reference point for the photographer. Interested in the visual noise in the photograph as well as the silence found in making the image, Roberts uses motion to create quiltlike forms and patterns, incorporating details that are often overlooked: complex planes created by two figures; the pain and grace of the stooped laborer; the role ornamentation plays in everyday life in India. His vision is one of exquisite sensitivity.

—Deborah Willis, PhD, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

About the Artist

Fredric Roberts with Buddhist Nuns; photo courtesy of Fredric Roberts.

Fredric Roberts is a photographer who resides in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. He is represented by the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, California, the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Hamburg Kennedy Photographs in New York. His photographs are in the collections of Stanford University and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. In December 2003, he was a winner in two categories of the International Photography Awards. The awards include First Place for Photojournalism/Photo Essay, First Place for Fine Art/Landscape and Third Place for Photojournalism/Photo Essay. In 2004, he was awarded Second Place in the Travel/Tourism category. His first book, Humanitas: Volume One, was a finalist for Foreward Magazine’s 2005 Book of the Year Award in the photography category.

Roberts is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and the Santa Fe Center for Photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, California. He is a member of the Patron’s Circle of the Museum of Photographic Arts and a member of the President’s Circle and Photographic Arts Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In 2000, Roberts retired from the finance industry after more than thirty years as an investment banker. In 1980, he established F.M. Roberts & Company, a Los Angeles based investment banking company. He served as 1993 chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), which then owned and operated the Nasdaq Stock Market. From 1994 to 1996, he was a member of the Nasdaq Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. He has also been the chairman of the NASD’s Corporate Financing and Strategic Planning Committees and the Nasdaq Marketing Committee, as well as a member of the National Nominating, Rate Formulation and Listing Qualifications Committees.

He is the chairman of the Board of Cost Plus, Inc., a leading specialty retailer of casual home furnishings and entertaining products. He is also a director of Limited Too, a specialty retailer of apparel, lifestyle and personal care products for fashion-aware young girls ages seven to fourteen years.

Roberts is a graduate of Yale University and The Hill School and is an active member of the business and cultural communities in Los Angeles. He is a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Executive, Finance, Development, Community Cultural Programming and Nominating Committees of the Los Angeles Music Center. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Music Center’s Fraternity of Friends and Founding Chairman of the Spotlight Awards Scholarship Program. He has been a frequent lecturer for the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California Los Angeles and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He has written several articles on corporate finance for Chief Executive Magazine. He is cellar master of the Los Angeles chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux and former president of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.