Richard Misrach is internationally known for his carefully considered, monumental photographic projects. In On the Beach, a lavishly produced, oversized monograph, Misrach hones in on our delicate relationship to the sea. “In this body of work he uses a gorgeous, slowly shifting color palette gleaned from changes in depth and tide; abstract patterns of waves and rippling water, and beaches both empty and cluttered. Throughout the series, Misrach carefully balances the minutiae of human gesture against the massive scale of the sea. In some images, a lone figure floats in a liquid field of brilliant turquoise—or in others, lies beached and partially buried. The details in the images are frequently ambiguous—are the figures relaxed or drained of life? Cavorting in the surf or panicking in the riptide? The balance is a fragile one between control and surrender to the elements. As Misrach says, the work is ‘suffused with a sense of the sublime, but it also begins to expose our vulnerability and fragility as human beings.'”—the publisher
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