Monday, June 1, 2009

Salt Flats

Bonneville, Salt Flats, 1999
Richard Misrach
chromogenic print
Image: artist's work catalogues

I am going to attempt another theme week with a focus on nature and art or nature in art, I've already considered switching to environment in art or narrowing down, or would that be broadening? to landscape, we'll see how the week progresses. My senior seminar in college was on landscape and while the semester started out a bit dull for most of us I ended up finding the topic fascinating and have since always looked for and or simple discovered landscapes I would never before considered such. I am personally quite interested in the landscape as an idea, an aesthetic and an overall view but I am going to try to keep with natural elements as subject, medium and/or inspiration in art for the week. I hope you enjoy.

Today's work is by Richard Misrach, a photographer well-known for his series Desert Cantos which is an ongoing series of works created mostly in the American Southwest. There are endless photographs I could have chosen for today but I was drawn to this one of a sunrise? in the Bonneville salt flats most likely because it is a place I've actually been (though not at this glorious time of day). Misrach did a series of photographs, Desert Canto XV The Salt Flats in 1994 but these works focused more on the intersection of man on the salt flat landscape (Bonneville races...). I am always drawn by sunrises and sunsets (though I see much more of the latter, not being much of an early rise), photographing many myself. I've seen some of Misrach's works in person and while one can grab a small hold on their beauty and intensity through reproduction, they are at their full aesthetic and bodily level as large-scale prints. I do not know the size of this print but many others run about 40x50 in. You'll find a lot of large-scale color photography in galleries and museums today but Misrach was a pioneer of it in the 1970s.

1 comment:

jct said...

A book to scratch that landscape itch: Ed Casey's Representing Place. All about representations of landscape by artists as well as mapmakers. You know it! I'm obsessed, too.