Monday, April 4, 2011

Major Photography Shows In But Not Of The South, Part One

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC has up a major photography show right now of work by California photographer Lewis Baltz, called Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit (Night Watch).

The Prototypes part consists of images from Baltz' portfolio made from 1967 through the early 1970s that shows images of the sides of warehouse sheds, stucco walls, empty billboards, and other geometric forms found in the postwar suburban landscape.

According to the National Gallery website, this work deals with "the fascinating and disturbing transformation of the American landscape into an unending terrain of anonymous commercial architecture."

The Ronde de Nuit part consists of work made from 1991-1992, a 12-panel depiction of surveillance sites and the people who work in them made with surveillance cameras. The title echoes Rembrandt's Night Watch, and, again according to the National Gallery, "reveals the artist's continuing preoccupation with industrially manufactured environments and how they are used to control contemporary society."
This show was put together by the Art Institute of Chicago and had gotten rave reviews. It opened at the National Gallery on March 30th, 2011 and is up through July 31.

Actually, anyone who photographs '57 Chevys may have a bit of Southern in him. And if you don't think Washington, DC is in the American South, you've never been there in August.

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