In this online preview, we present you with a selection of work by twelve artists in the show whose images have some connection to “the environment.” It’s hard to begin writing about this topic because a lot of the key terms often get used somewhat interchangeably (conservation, preservation, environmentalism). Defining those words more carefully is an important bit of housekeeping that needs to be done, but like housekeeping in real life I am going to put it off until later. The great photographers Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter represent the historic section of the exhibition, a concise selection of artists and pictures that are intended to show different approaches to communicating about the landscape with photography in the twentieth century. The other ten artists are part of the second section, a gathering of recent work by contemporary photographers.
The idea of the preview is to give you a sneak peek at some of the photographs and to get you thinking about some of the ideas at the heart of the show. Not just thinking but also talking and typing and doing. Even singing (see music link!). What role does art play in our society? How can it help us come to grips with the challenging time in which we live? Is it wrong to make a beautiful photograph of toxic waste? Is it okay to make a humorous picture about annihilation? How can a photograph reach through the haze of images surrounding us every day to make direct contact with someone’s heart and mind? At what point does each of us become numb to pictures of a disaster?
So take a look at the offerings in this preview and let us know what you are thinking about, looking at, reading, listening to, and wondering about in relation to your own connection to landscape and environment.