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Place above All Else: The Photographic Work of Laura McPhee

Speaker: 

Laura McPhee is a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2:00 p.m.

Recital Hall

Photographer Laura McPhee is noted for her stunning large-scale landscapes and portraits of the people who live and work in them. She is currently working in the desert west of the US where she is chronicling visual stories about time, both geologic and human. A serpentine river cuts deep incisions in the land over ages; a gold mine on the edge of the Black Rock Desert has the earth slashed open and its ruddy interior revealed; a still life found at the edge of an alkali flat reveals intricate details of daily life—a tiny plastic toy among shards of glass and rust, a penny, machine parts, and desert-varnished tin cans: All contemplate the unintended consequences of humanity’s attempts to control and manage nature and how we use the earth and to what ends. A meditation on our material lives, the images depict our paradoxical approaches as we at once protect, alter, and extract from the land.

Her work has been widely exhibited both in the US and abroad and she is the recipient of a number of grants and residencies. In addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art, where Early Spring (Peeling Bark in Rain) is on view in BIG: Photographs from the Collection, her works are included in the permanent collections of many museums including the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her exhibition River of No Return was first presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2006; a monograph of the same title was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Her first book, No Ordinary Land (in collaboration with Virginia Beahan), was published by Aperture in 1998. A book of photographs of Calcutta, The Home and the World, was published by Yale in 2014.

Free, registration recommended. Reserve through the ticket center at engage.clevelandart.org or by phone at 216- 421-7350.

Tickets available July 15