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Since the 1970s Rick Dingus has photographed ""landscapes"": remote wilderness and rural settings, vernacular traces, urban environments, and ancient pathways that invite viewers to look closer, to think about how to interpret what they are seeing. Perception unfolds in many ways in this volume, whose photographs document Dingus's lifelong exploration of the intersections of time, place, culture, and nature. Dingus discusses his creative process in practical and philosophical terms through brief opening passages and an in-depth interview with art curator Peter S. Briggs. An introductory essay by curator Toby Jurovics considers Dingus's oeuvre within the evolution of landscape photography from the nineteenth century to the present day - offering a view of the photographer's art as ""resilient enough to contain both empirical and metaphorical truth; the descriptive and the personal; the past and the present."" An essay by Shelley Armitage offers a more personal reflection on the experience of viewing the photographs. And art critic Lucy R. Lippard provides a chronology and sustained interpretation of Dingus's work, with its emphasis on transformation and on ""translating information across visual borders."" Landscape is always with us, deceptively simple, yet capable of providing something much more. By examining the rich variety of Dingus's work and reflecting on the evolution of ideas that lie behind it, Shifting Views and Changing Places invites readers to critically examine the pursuit of seeing.
Steve Fitch is among America's most well-known chroniclers of the American West since the days of Easy Rider. He has been photographing examples of the West's changing vernacular landscape and vanishing roadside landmarks for more than 40 years. In his new book, he presents both the ancient and the modern by way of petroglyphs, neon motel signs and hand-painted business signs, drive-in movie theater screens, and radio and cell towers. All of them are now endangered because of the advent of the Interstate Highway System and corporate franchises. In this fascinating and comprehensive account, we are able to join in Fitch's expansive journey, truly an odyssey, as represented in the book's 120 unforgettable photographs, all sequenced to mimic the open road-both during day and night. Fitch explains the project in his informative introduction, in which, interestingly, he suggests that the petroglyphs of the ancient Pueblo people have endured far better and longer than anything made during the last sixty years. Curator Toby Jurovics, in his insightful concluding essay, positions Fitch's work in relation to that of the practitioners of the photographic style known as the "New Topographics" and Fitch's own view of photography as a visual form of cultural anthropology. Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks is sure to become a modern-day classic, a book that will be all the more revered as America and Americans move farther away from the highways of the past. That economy and roadside culture are vanishing like endangered species, but Fitch was along for the ride. In sharing that past, he has been witness to his own form of historic preservation.
In the summer of 2003, Thomas Joshua Cooper traveled to Shoshone Falls in southern Idaho to photograph where the Snake River had tumbled across a 212-foot precipice, once one of the most sublime landscapes in the American West. Cooper's images were a response to the work of Timothy H. O'Sullivan, photographer on the late-nineteenth-century geologic and geographic surveys led by Clarence King and George M. Wheeler. Traveling to Shoshone Falls in 1868, and again in 1874, O'Sullivan made images that capture both the physical grandeur and emotional resonance of this unique landscape. Cooper's photographs simultaneously engage the work of his predecessor while expanding his own formal vocabulary in a project that generates a dialogue around history, geography and photographic process. Printed large-scale in lush tri-tone, this book reproduces 18 of Cooper's images in tandem with nine by O'Sullivan.
A comprehensive look at one of the most celebrated photographers of the American frontier The image of the untamed American West persists as one of our country's most enduring cultural myths, and few photographers have captured more compelling images of the frontier than Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Trained under Mathew Brady, O'Sullivan accompanied several government expeditions to the West-most notably with geologist Clarence King in 1867 and cartographer George M. Wheeler in 1871. Along these journeys, O'Sullivan produced many beautiful photographs that exhibit a forthright and rigorous style formed in response to the landscapes he encountered. Faced with challenging terrain and lacking previous photographic examples on which to rely, O'Sullivan created a body of work that was without precedent in its visual and emotional complexities. The first major publication on O'Sullivan in more than thirty years, Framing the West offers a new aesthetic and formal interpretation of O'Sullivan's photographs and assesses his influence on the larger photographic canon. The book features previously unpublished and rarely seen images and serves as a field guide for O'Sullivan's original prints, presenting them for the first time in sequence with the chronology of their production.
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