New Mexico Museum of Art
Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 01, 2011
(Santa Fe, NM—March 1, 2011)—Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, pioneers in landscape photography, were working at a time when a greater awareness and growing concern for the environment was emerging. These two men whose love for their subject, so breathtakingly captured in their work, were sympathetic to the nascent environmental movement and allowed their art to be used to further the cause. Earth Now starts with a suite of works by these two artists and moves on to a group of younger landscape photographers who came of age in the 1970s – Robert Adams, Robert Glenn Ketchum, and Mark Klett – using their powerful images as subtle advocacy.
Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment opening April 8, 2011 at the New Mexico Museum of Art documents the influence of these two masters on subsequent generations of American landscape photographers. The exhibition runs through October 9, 2011. Opening event is 5:30-7:30 pm on April 8 with a reception hosted by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico.
The exhibition brings to the fore a group of nearly seventy contemporary photographs, many shown for the first time, to examine how American artists of our time are engaging with issues of environmental concern. This varied and lively group of photographs invites visitors to enjoy the visual pleasures of photography by masters as well as newcomers, as well as to ponder their own relationship to the landscape and their thinking about some of the present-day social issues in the context of an industrialized society—energy consumption, changing agricultural practices, waste management, land use. Using strategies such as beauty, humor, and horror to engage attention, these photographers provoke questions about the environment while pointing toward new directions such as local farming, new energy source technologies, green roofs, and a renewed connection with the landscapes we inhabit.
While many of these artists are working in New Mexico and the western United States – including Michael Berman, Joann Brennan, Dornith Doherty, Chris Enos, Greg Mac Gregor, Carlan Tapp, Victor Masayesva, and Sharon Stewart – others represent cities ranging from Seattle to New York and San Francisco to Atlanta. A highlight of the show will be images from brand-new bodies of work by Subhankar Banerjee, Daniel Handal, Brad Temkin, and Phil Underdown.
Exhibition curator and Curator of Photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Katherine Ware had this to say about her concept for the exhibition; “After talking with the photographers about what they have to say and why they do this work really moved and inspired me. What I most want to highlight in this exhibition is their vision, their commitment, their way of connecting with the human spirit. Art isn’t a luxury; it is about making sense of life, understanding the world we inhabit. Earth Now does not present the viewer with easy answers, instead a lot of questions. These images require the participation of viewers who are engaged by them and continue the conversation.”
Preceding the exhibition and still on view is an online Earth Now exhibition, http://online.nmartmuseum.org/earthnow. Twelve artists are represented with three images each. Artists’ statements, a curators blog, video interviews, and more, round out the site. New and unique material will be added to the online exhibition site through the run of the gallery exhibition, making Earth Now online its own ecosystem.
Artists included in the gallery exhibition
Michael P. Berman
Robert Glenn Ketchum
Greg Mac Gregor
Victor Masayesva Jr.
Artists included in the Earth Now online exhibition
Katherine Ware, Curator of Photography
Steve Cantrell, PR Manager
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The New Mexico Museum of Art was founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico. Housed in a spectacular Pueblo Revival building designed by I. H. and William M. Rapp, it was based on their New Mexico building at the Panama-California Exposition (1915). The museum's architecture inaugurated what has come to be known as "Santa Fe Style." For nearly 100 years, the Museum has celebrated the diversity of the visual arts and the legacy of New Mexico as a cultural crossroads by collecting and exhibiting work by leading artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide-array of exhibitions with work from the world’s leading artists. The New Mexico Museum of Art brings the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico.
The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.