According to Richard Misrach, this is his only photograph of Yosemite, which may be surprising because Misrach is one of our best-known photographers of the West. On this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast, Misrach explains why he has not shot much in Yosemite, and why this photograph was ‘OK’ for him to shoot. It’s a fascinating story, especially if you love the history of American art and the role of landscape within it.
This week’s MAN Podcast spotlights “Petrochemical America,” a new book by artist Richard Misrach and landscape architect Kate Orff. The book examines the industrialized Mississippi River corridor between Baton Rouge, La., and New Oreleans. The region is infamous for its density of petrochemical plants and for high rates of disease, particularly cancer.
“Petrochemical America” features Misrach’s pictures, commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and landscape architect Kate Orff’s Ecological Atlas, a series of narratives that establish a relationship between Misrach’s photographs, the region and man-made and ecological forces. An exhibition of Misrach’s and Orff’s work is on view now in the project room at Aperture’s New York gallery through October 6. Misrach’s ‘Cancer Alley’ pictures are on view at the High through October 7. (The book is also published by Aperture. Amazon lists it at $30 off.)
Image: Richard Misrach, Burnt Forest and Half Dome, Yosemite, 1988. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The art: Carleton Watkins, Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point, 1865-66.
The news: “A Well-Regulated Wilderness,” by Michael Lipsky for the New York Times op-ed page. Watkins played a key role in motivating what would become America’s national parks, and less directly our Wilderness system.
The source: Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.