Douglas Busch
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • Links

  • More contexts

Born in Miami Beach in 1951, Douglas Busch now lives in Malibu, California. He calls his series of seascapes “Silent Waves”. In Silent Waves, Busch uses digital photography to capture quiet, sublime and dramatic moments of the eternal encounter between light and water. His images seem self-evident and natural, as if they had created themselves, with their meditative atmosphere. It is rare that we meet such pictures of nature, which are made with the most modern technical means, but that express at the same time such a “paintingly”, emotional quality. Busch’s photographs remind us of abstract paintings and they incorporate such intense “allure” because they translate “water” and “light” into sensual compositions of fragile colors.
“In the first part of 2003, Douglas Busch rented for a time a beach bungalow in Malibu with a sundeck extending over the surface of the sea. From then on, his sea images begin to move away from the type of photography in which the subject is easily recognisable, instead becoming increasingly abstract in nature until they end up as meditations on light and colour. He begins photographing the sea literally at every moment of the day and night, from the first light of dawn until the fading of the last traces of natural light in the evening, finally using searchlights to illuminate the water at night. (…)With their starkly reduced range of colours, the resulting pictures have little in common with photography in the generally accepted sense of the word. These monochrome studies lack anything like an identifiable content. We are now dealing with the play of light and colour in a visual space. Within these structures, it is still occasionally possible to make out  individual waves or clouds. These almost serve further to heighten the impact of these images, as they comprise the only point of reference within them.
The ‘Waves’ are just as romantic as they are lucid.”Quotes: Thomas Schirmböck
1951born in Miami Beach, FL
1973Graduated University of Illinois with BFA in Art and got voted one of ten outstanding seniors. Moved to Carmel, CA, to become Morley Baer’s asstistant. Worked with Al Weber on workshops in Death Valley. During this period befriended Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Brett Weston, Huntington Witherall, Imigene Cunningham, Minor White, Ralph Gibson and others.
1974 Moved to New York City; Scranton, PA; Boston, MA, to work with Chelsea Wholesale, Finley Departments as a diamond picker. Became assistant boutique buyer, before managing stores in Scranton. Continued photographing during this period
1975Moved to Rockford, IL, to run family jewelry business
1981Trip to four corners area
1982Left family jewelry business. Founded deGolden Busch, Inc., which he ran as president. Designed all deGolden Busch SuperLarge™ format view cameras, FocuShield™ ground glass protectors, FilmLok™ filmholders, and archival washers. Obtained patents on products, all of original design
1983 Executive director for the Keith Photographic Foundation, founded by international photographer and columnist Simon Nathan. Responsible for organization of international traveling shows, discovery and requisition of new artwork, structuring and promotion of workshops. Was curator of a $750,000 collection of existing photographs in the permanent collection
1984 Publisher and executive editor of Viewpoint, the SuperLarge™ Format Newsletter, circulation of over 5,000. Delivered three lecture-seminars at the International “Photo-Expo" Convention in New York City on SuperLarge™ format instant imaging techniques for Kodak, Polaroid, and Agfa-Gevaert
1985"Victor Colorado Landscapes" - eight 12" x 20" black and white contact prints in a limited edition portfolio of 25 sets. Thirteen continuous tone lithographs published and distributed by Jannes Art Publishing, Chicago, IL. Six limited edition collotypes in sets of 300 (signed and numbered) published by Black Box Photographics. Closed deGolden Busch Camera Co. Did photographic trip to four corners area with Carl Canfield
1986"The Denver Photographic Project," exhibition and portfolio
1987“Contrasts” - a photographic study of three communities in North Central Illinois. This exhibition traveled to five museums and ended at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, IL
1988 Smithsonian Institution acquired four Busch prints for collotype show- "Imperishable Beauty". Beginning of the shooting of “Societorial Nudes”
1989“Societorial Nudes” Series consisting of seven walls measuring 9' x 16'. Each wall had twelve images measuring 30" x 50" sequenced together. Opened at the Busch Gallery and the Weiss-Morris Gallery, Rockford, IL
1990510 East State Street, Rockford, IL. Restoration of historic registry from 1880, which was awarded best city remodel in 1990. Finished restoration of 12,000 Queen Ann Building in Rockford, IL, which became his studio, darkroom and living quarters. Started portrait project with Daniel Voll (play write) which incorporates interviews with photography
1991Started Midwest Landscape Project. MFA work at University of Illionois
1992"LA Overlook" - freeways of Los Angeles, exhibited at Steven Cohen Gallery, CA. MFA Degree at University of Illinois. Published "A Right of Passage" and "In Plain Sight" which was awarded "Best Book by a Small Publisher"
1994Published "Tides in Time", a catalogue for the traveling show with the same name and worked on "Flesh as Canvas", a year long project photographing tattood people across America, sponsored by Eastman Kodak Co.

Collections (Selection)

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Illinois State Library
Rockford Art Museum
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum
Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art
Grinnel College Art Museum
Danforth Museum of Art
George Eastman House
Portland Museum of Art
University of California, Santa Cruz
McDonalds Corp.
United Banks of Colorado
St. Frances Hospital
The Best Company
Ziffren and Ziffren
General Litho
Jannes Arts Publishing Co.
Liebovich Steel Corp.
Eastman Kodak Corp.
Cedar Sinai Hospital
Polaroid Corp.
Rodenstock Optical Corp.
City of Rockford
Denver Chamber of Commerce

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2006Art Moscow, Russia May 2006
Silent Waves: Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Retrospective: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA
Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Vestiges: Vertretung des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz und der Europaischen Union, Berlin, Germany
Vestiges: Mainz Museum, Germany
Italian Gardens: Museum fuer Europaische Gartenbaukunst, Duesseldorf, Germany
Vestiges: Landes Museum Koblenz, Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Germany
2005Hack Museum, Retrospective Ludwigshafen, Germany
Vestiges: Maison de l’Archeologie, Niederbronn-les-Bains, Frankreich, France
Vestiges Buró Trifels, Annweiler am Trifels, Germany
Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
2000Focus Gallery, Carmel, CA
1999Mannheim City Gallery, Mannheim, Germany
Group V, Braunfeld, Germany
1998Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, IA
Group V, Braunfeld, Germany
1997Photo Classics Gallery, Munich, Germany
Lotus Gallery, Salzburg, Austria
1996451 Gallery, Rockford, IL
Borrone Gallery, Menlo Park, CA
1995Fact Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Linderman Gallery, Germany
1994G.Ray Hawkins Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
X-ibit Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1992Steven Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1991Earl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1990Art Services, San Francisco, CA
X-ibit Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1989James Madison University, Harrisionburg, VA
continued City Hall, Rockford, IL
Weiss-Morris Gallery, Rockford, IL
Gallery Ten, Rockford, IL
1988Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL
Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, IL
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
Union League Club, Chicago, IL
J.R. Kortman Gallery, Rockford, IL
1987Ida Public Library, Belvidere, IL
Denver Chamber of Commerce, Denver, CO
United Banks of Colorado, Denver, CO
1986Florissant Valley College, St. Louis, MO
Carson-Sapiro Gallery, Denver, CO
Fermilabs, Chicago, IL
A-Space Gallery, Madison, WI
University of Maine, Portland, ME
1985Burpee Art Museum, Rockford, IL
Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI
1984Tracy Felix Gallery, Colorado Springs, CO
Victor School of Photography, Victor, CO

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2002A Century of Photography, Cedar Rapids Art Museum, IA
2000Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA
1989Art in the Embassies, Washington, DC
Busch Gallery, Rockford, IL
1988Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Art Institute, Chicago, IL
1987Camera Obscura Gallery, Denver, CO
1986US Department of State, Washington, DC
The LLoyd Gallery, Spokane, WA
The Architectural Center, Chicago, IL

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Silent Waves-Limited Edition-The Photo Department, Malibu, CA, 2007
California Gardens-Wade Publishing, London England, 2007
Italian Gardens-Braus Editions, Germany, 2006
Retrospective From Miami to Malibu-braus Editions, Germany, 2005
Vestiges-Douglas Busch & Martin Blume-144 pages , 52 photographs in Duotone, 2005
30 x 30 cm, Hardcover, English/French/German, Stuttgart 2005
Tides in Time-The Photo Department, Santa Monica, CA, 1994
In Plain Sight-The Photo Department, Rockford, IL, 1992

Essays/Articles (Selection)

Photo District News: No Strings Foundation
International Photo Techniques
Camera Arts
Modern Photography
Photo Vision
Professional Photographers of America Technical Photography
N.Y. Times Art Review
Chicago Tribune
New York Photo District News
British Journal of Photography Photographic Collector Magazine
Popular Photography
Rockford Magazine
Janesville Gazette
Rockford Register Star
Die Rheinpfalz, Germany
Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, Germany
Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France
Edenkobener Rundschau, Germany
Foto and Labor, Germany
Darkroom Photography
Photo Vision
Cucina Bella E Buona #76
Il Nouvo Bagno #27
HG TV Design Challenge 10 April 01
Robb Report March and April 2005
Western Interiors 2005

Additional Information

2005/presentFounded the No Strings Foundation. Tim Wride executive director. Simple to fund photographers. Annual grants and catalogues
2005J. Paul Getty Museum: lecture on Roger Fenton photographic show
2003/present“Silent Waves” – Digital images of beach, waves and sky. Colored grits and single prints mounted between aluminum and plexiglass responding to the emotion of color in an abstract sense. A compilation of a summer living on the everchanging Livingston Beach in Southern California
2003/2004“Italian Gardens” – A series of images taken in the spring and summer of 2003 of eleven privately owned gardens in Italy. Among them La Mortella (Ischia), Il Biviere (Sicily) and of the Villa Reale in Marlia, originally laid out by Napoleon Bonaparte's sister in the English style
2002/2003 “Digital Nudes” – Digital images of the human form in motion
1999/2001 “Vestiges” - International traveling show with accompanying book and portfolio of albumen prints. A collaborative project with German photographer Martin Blume. French and German castle ruins from the 11th to the 13th century juxtaposed against images of the Anasazi ruins in the Southwest of the United States. This series shows the similarities and differences of the cultures living on both sides of the Atlantic

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