(b. 1935-) Between 1963 and 1986, he was Chairman, Director of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Art History at Boston University. Ph.D. from Harvard in 1973. He is the keystone biographer of Aaron Siskind.

His photographs, luminous, dark, coruscated with deep shadows, and alive with the play of light, are challenging and abstract, studies of blacks and whites in the ancient and honorable tradition of chiaroscuro. His intention is to push the photograph beyond the boundaries of the “real,” to investigate the realms of the imagination where space and surface intertwine and where the “real” is transformed into a wholly visual event. 

“Chiarenza is clear about his motivation: “I want the viewer of my work to sense the power, to feel the presence of the unknown. All photographs share this life force, this force of their own individuality. Somewhere between the making and the viewing of the picture, we experience this force, though our experience remains forever beyond satisfactory explanation.” 


Little Brown & Company, Boston, 1982. 283 pages; 74 duo-toned b & w plates plus 198 text illustrations; 9.5 x 11.25 inches.

Chiarenza wrote the original text of this book as his PhD at Harvard University in the late 1960s, the first dissertation to be written about a living photographer.