Dorothy Anderson Wasserman

Self-Portrait as Maria Portinari
30″x40″; photo collage, original photographs; 2013

Dorothy Anderson Wasserman
Tacoma, Washington, USA


In 1968 I purchased my first 35mm camera and began documenting the world around me. After years of exploring photo transfers, I made my first photo collage in 1999. It came from a specific experience: on the drive home from visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC I became stuck in traffic for over two hours. In the middle of this standstill, I got out of the car and photographed the surroundings in an organized grid. After the images were developed I recreated the scene, morphing it into a new reality. This act of deconstruction/reconstruction initiated a photo collage practice lasting twenty-five years. What continues to thrill me about this approach is that the finished work has the look of a one-shot photograph, only the world created is of my own making. I can incorporate everything I love about photography into this form and at the same time greatly enlarge the narrative possibilities. I am very interested in physics, philosophy, dance, and portraiture. Integrating these elements into the collage work continues to be what excites me. The black-and-white work is all film photography, while the color work is entirely digital. The collages are exclusively made up of my own photographs, which are assembled by hand using scissors and glue. Once the work is completed, archival pigmented inkjet prints are generated. I started making composite images on an iPad in 2022, adding them to my hands-on approach. I create and self-publish books of my work.


Dorothy Anderson Wasserman (American b. 1951 Duluth, MN) is a visual artist, photographer, art educator, tap dancer, and choreographer. These professional careers have crisscrossed over the span of five decades, informing and enlivening the artistic directions taken. In 1968, while a junior in high school, Dorothy purchased her first 35mm camera and began a practice of documenting her life through photography. Dorothy graduated from the State University of New York in 1976 with a BS in Art Education. Dorothy lived in New York City from 1982 to 1991. During this time her careers in both the fine and performing arts flourished. Dorothy received credits as choreographer and featured dancer in the 1987 Tri-Star motion picture TAP starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr. In 1991 Dorothy moved to New Jersey and embarked on twenty-six years of teaching art in public elementary school. During this time she began to create photo collage using all her own photographs, a practice she continues to this day. With her photo collage as submissions, she was selected as a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Artist/Educator Initiative Fellow in 2005 and was a semifinalist in the National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, Smithsonian Institution, 2016. After retiring from teaching art in 2017, Dorothy moved to Tacoma, Washington. She continues to create new works in photo collage and mixed media sculptures. Over the last few years, Dorothy has created over seventeen books highlighting her photography and sculptural work. Dorothy is represented by Gallery 110, Seattle.


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Iris in Black and White
30″x40″; photo collage, original photographs; 2003
Corn Maze
30″x40″; photo collage, original photographs; 2011
First Avenue South
30″x40″; photo collage, original photographs; 2006
Dance of the Forest Dwellers
30″x40″; photo collage, original photographs; 2019