Vintage Neon: Images by Chuck Biddle Ronald E. Holstein Gallery
May 9 – September 9, 2018
Biddle began his photographing neon signs to gather source material for his hyper-realistic drawings, focusing on historically or aesthetically significant neon signs. Over time, he realized that the drawings were unnecessary. Biddle’s photographic images preserve the elements of mid-century signage: typeface, logos, neon, lighting and placement, and especially saturated color.
“While my goal of one long act of preserving mid-20th-century signage has continued intact, the means to achieve that goal have come and gone, some within my control and just as many beyond it. Currently, a work begins with travel to discover a surviving subject. The signs have become fewer and farther between since I began documenting them.”
Charles Biddle, a Pittsburgh artist, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has exhibited frequently with the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, including in several Annuals at Carnegie Museum of Art; was given a solo exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, in 1996; and was part of “An Exhibition of Five Contemporary Artists” at Hammer Galleries, New York, in 1993. Biddle was also included in the 1995 “American Diner” at the Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, Mass., and in “See the USA” at The National Building Museum, Washington, D.C., in 1999-2000. His work is in the collections of the Heinz Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art; the Westmoreland Museum of American Art; the Pittsburgh Public Schools; and the Howard Heinz Endowment, among others.