Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Joel Sternfeld's Oxbow Archive
Joel Sternfeld's new exhibition Oxbow Archive opens this Saturday, September 6 at Luhring Augustine in Chelsea. This new body of work (done in and around my hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts) examines seasonal passage in an age of vast climate change. The images from Oxbow Archive are both geographically and contextually rooted in art history, specifically in the tradition of 19th century American landscape painting. The notorious Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole made one of his most famous paintings in the same location that Sternfeld has been photographing. View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm — The Oxbow, 1836 presents a bucolic, somewhat idealistic vision of nature's perfection. However, as it states in the press release for Sternfeld's upcoming exhibition:
"This work represents a departure from archetypal photographic depictions of nature; grandiloquent mountain views and dramatized skies are eschewed, as are ideal specimens of flora. Anthropomorphization of "perfect form in nature" does not occur; the geometric is not valorized. The photographs are not meant to be metaphoric equivalents of anything else. Rather, the images present themselves without pretense as a systematic index of seasonal progression."
531 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
September 6 - October 4
This exhibition coincides with the publication of Oxbow Archive, which will be avialable soon through Steidl.
From Top To Bottom:
Joel Sternfeld, March 13, 2006, The East Meadows, Northampton, Massachusetts, 2006
Thomas Cole, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm — The Oxbow, 1836
Works © The Artists