courtesy photoDistinctly American images by photographer George Tice are on view at the Scott Nichols Gallery in The City.

George Tice retrospective captivates

Richness and variety describe the Scott Nichols Gallery’s current show, a 60-year retrospective poetically titled “George Tice: A Photographer’s Photographer.”

Celebrating the internationally acclaimed artist’s 75th birthday, the exhibit contains more than 40 images by Tice, who has published 17 books and whose work appears in dozens of museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Light and shadow are dramatic in the 1970 image “Joe’s Barber Shop, Paterson, New Jersey,” in which the darkness surrounding a barber’s chair, which is visible but not prominent, contrasts to sunlight streaming through the window.

Details in the photo also indicate that the establishment is in a small town.

Technically and aesthetically sophisticated, the large-format black-and-white images of American rural and suburban life earned Tice, a self-taught photographer, national and international renown.

For example, an ordinary picture of two youngsters walking toward a barn on an empty country road in “Two Amish Boys, Lancaster, PA, 1962” manages to capture the lifestyle of a community.

“Shaker Interior, Sabbathday Lake, Maine, 1971” contains just a pitcher and bowl on a table, and a door.

The picture has a quiet simplicity that is powerful, similar to that of “Porch, Monhegan Island, Maine, 1971,” an image of an empty porch overlooking the horizon.

The exhibit also includes one of Tice’s most enduring images, “White Castle, Route #1, Rahway, NJ, 1973,” taken in his home state of New Jersey, the subject of many of his photographs.

IF YOU GO

George Tice: A Photographer’s Photographer

Where: Scott Nichols Gallery. 49 Geary St., Suite 415, S.F.

When: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; closes Nov. 16

Admission: Free

Contact: (415) 788-4641, www.scottnicholsgallery.com

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