This exhibition will feature six contemporary photographers—Robert Adams, Lois Conner, Michael Lundgren, Mike Osborne, Mark Ruwedel, and Joni Sternbach—who engage the landscape of the American West as their subject. These artists reflect the seminal and influential photography of Ansel Adams in their work, yet, while their motives and means are strikingly similar, the view has changed. After the grand display of pristine wilderness that Adams' best-known works sought to convey, these contemporary artists discovered another America, one that is full of human interventions and follies. Their work allows us to look at the new American West with fresh eyes and, in so doing, carries on the documentary conviction that seeing is understanding. In this exhibition, the work shows that even marginal places and common landscapes can be understood in the light of hope and possibility.
A simultaneous Ansel Adams exhibition will also be on view at The Fralin, allowing for a discussion of changing landscapes and the resultant transformed attitudes of contemporary artists who photograph the new West. These exhibitions will coincide with the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, allowing students, faculty, and the community at large access to this important juxtaposition of landscape photography.