DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center (SAAM) -- Exhibit: Landscapes in Passing:
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Description of Pictures: Landscapes In Passing: Photographs by Steve Fitch, Robbert Flick, and Elaine Mayes
July 26, 2013 – January 20, 2014
The American landscape has inspired generations of artists, but the 48 photographs in this presentation— by Steve Fitch, Robbert Flick and Elaine Mayes— are a far cry from traditional representations of the subject. Where painters of the Hudson River School saw the sublime and survey photographers of the 19th century discerned supernatural majesty in America’s landscapes, Fitch, Flick and Mayes find evidence of civilization’s rapid expansion into suburbs and exurbs. This view updated the idyllic portrayal of the American landscape that had persisted into the 20th century, notably in photographs by Ansel Adams. Informed by the reality of the interstate highway system and the increasingly mediated culture of 1970s America, these photographers depict the country in passing, as drive-through scenery rather than entrancing wilderness. Their images, created between 1971 and 1980, foreshadow today’s even more media-saturated environment and the telegraphic relationship to the natural world that it encourages.
The photographs by Fitch, from his series Diesels and Dinosaurs, capture the typical sights and attractions that defined roadside America. Flick’s photographs, drawn from his series Sequential Views, consist of grids of images made in Los Angeles in 1980 as he traversed the streets, stopping at prescribed temporal or geographical intervals. Mayes’s photographs, from her Autolandscapes series, present America as seen from a moving car window.
The installation is part of a series that highlights objects from the museum’s collection that are rarely on public display. The artworks in this installation were selected by Lisa Hostetler, the museum’s McEvoy Family Curator for Photography.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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2013 photos: Equipment this year: I mostly used my Fuji XS-1 camera but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000 and Nikon D600.
Trips this year: three Civil War Trust conferences (Memphis, TN in March; Jackson, MS in May [to which I added a week to to visit sites in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee], and Richmond, VA in September) and my traditional trip out west to San Diego Comic-Con (including sites in Nevada and California this time).
Ego Strokes: Aviva Kempner used my photo of her as her author photo in Larry Ruttman's "American Jews & America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball" book.
Number of photos taken this year: just over 570,000.