Richard Misrach

Installation photograph of framed prints on gallery walls

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present recent photographs by RICHARD MISRACH, on view from May 2 through June 29, 2002. These large-scale works are the result of the artist’s two major projects over the past few years: Untitled (Desert Scrubs) and Battleground Point.

Untitled #731-96, 1996
chromogenic color print on Fuji Crystal Archive paper, 52-3/4 x 111-3/4 inches (framed)

Though the untitled photographs are an extension of Misrach’s investigation of the desert, they mark a radical departure within his work. In these extremely detailed photographs (made from 8 x 10-inch negatives) of desert scrub brush, it is difficult to determine precisely what one is looking at. The scale and perspective of the work calls into question the viewer’s own relation to the object being photographed. Misrach’s photographs of the tangled desert undergrowth become complex and thorny abstractions, uncannily recalling the energy and controlled chaos of Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm or Lavender Mist.

Battleground Point #14, 1999
pigment print, 20 x 24 inches (sheet & mount) [50.8 x 61.0 cm]

Also on view will be three large works from Battleground Point, the twenty-fourth installment from Misrach’s “Desert Cantos.” These works, first exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington last fall, were made in Nevada’s Carson Sink, in an area that floods every decade. The photographs depict a watery desert landscape in which sky, sand, and water are connected in an unearthly vision.

One of the most influential photographers working today, Misrach has received numerous awards, including a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work is included in major museums around the world.

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