The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 22, 2019

NGA Opens Luminous Photographs of the Ocean and Beach by Richard Misrach
Richard Misrach (born 1949), Untitled 591-04, 2004, chromogenic print. Collection of the Artist. Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Marc Selwyn Fine Arts, Los Angeles.

WASHINGTON, DC.- Monumental color photographs explore the sublime beauty and inherent danger of the sea and its surroundings in the days following September 11, 2001 in the exhibition Richard Misrach: On the Beach, on view in the photography galleries at the National Gallery of Art through September 1, 2008. Drawn from one of Misrach's most recent series On the Beach, are 19 dramatic photographs—some as large as six feet high by ten feet wide. Major American photographer Misrach (b. 1949) is known for provocative work that addresses contemporary society's troubled relationship to nature, especially in the American West.

While some of these photographs have been exhibited over the past few years, the national tour of the exhibition is the first time that so many works from this series can be seen together. The exhibition premiered at the Art Institute of Chicago last fall and will travel to the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle (October 11, 2008, to January 18, 2009), and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (May 23 to August 16, 2009).

"This exhibition celebrates the power of Richard Misrach's landscapes. Having turned his camera from the desert to the beach, Misrach once again reveals his gift for expressing complex, important ideas in images of rare beauty," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.

Exhibition Support and Organization and Curators - The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund. Richard Misrach: On the Beach was initiated by the Art Institute of Chicago, where it was organized by Elizabeth Siegel, associate curator of photography. Sarah Greenough, senior curator of photographs, National Gallery of Art, coordinated the exhibition in Washington.

The exhibition at the National Gallery of Art consists of 19 color photographs displayed in five photography galleries. Made between 2002 and 2005, the untitled chromogenic prints arevast in both scale and viewpoint. Despite the compelling beauty of the scene, a sense of disquietude is pervasive. Misrach began making vibrant color photographs of swimmers and sunbathers on the beach in Hawaii in the days immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Employing a soaring vantage point, Misrach depicted the tiny swimmers and sunbathers, often alone or in pairs, engulfed by the dazzling immensity of the sea or an endless stretch of beach. He employed a floating viewpoint that eliminated all reference to the horizon or sky.

What quietly emerges from these lush, stunning images of people immersed in an idyllic environment is the subtle hint of potential danger. Listless sunbathers seem to be beached or partially buried in the sand. When photographed in groups, frolickers on the shore appear as if they were fleeing some unknown danger. By seeming to pit man against nature, these photographs underscore the delicacy and precariousness of man.

The intimation of danger in paradise is integral to the meaning of the photographs. The series—made over a five-year period—speaks to the sense of physical and psychological vulnerability that has pervaded American consciousness since 9/11. The sense of foreboding is also implicit in the title of the series, On the Beach,inspired by Nevil Shute's 1957 novel of the same name in which the sole survivors of an atomic holocaust—stranded on an island in the Pacific—await the approaching nuclear clouds.

The Photographer - "I've come to believe that beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas," said American photographer Richard Misrach. Born in 1949 in Los Angeles, he was inspired by the political activism of his student days in Berkeley in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as by the work of landscape photographers of the West, especially Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. For the past 30 years, Misrach has created a complex body of work, including Desert Cantos, a series informed by the powerful mixture of his love of the Western landscape, and his passionate commitment to its preservation. His work also reveals his engagement with contemporary social, political, and cultural issues.

Of his On the Beach photographs, Misrach wrote: "I was drawn to the fragility and grace of the human figure in the landscape. My thinking about this work was influenced by the events of 9/11, particularly by the images of individuals and couples falling from the World Trade Towers, as well as by the 1950s Cold War novel and film On the Beach. Paradise has become an uneasy dwelling place; the sublime sea frames our vulnerability, the precious nature of life itself."

On the Beach is a lavishly produced, 80-page monograph published by Aperture, New York (2007). At 20 by 16 inches, it is the largest book ever published by Aperture, and the first major publication of new work by Misrach in many years. The book is available from the National Gallery of Art by phone at (202) 842-6002 or (800) 697-9350 ($85 hardcover).

Today's News

May 26, 2008

Picasso Retrospective From The Picasso Museum in Paris Opens in Abu Dhabi Today

Christie's To Host British Art Week With A Series of Auctions, Lectures and Events June 4-6

ICA Anniversary Print Portfolio 2008 Available June 2

Musée National Des Arts Asiatiques Guimet Presents Hokusai

Andreas Fogarasi: Információ Opens at Ernst Museum

Holodomor: Genocide by Famine at The Ukrainian Museum

Oh Chi-Gyun: Defining Landscape at Chelsea Art Museum

Five Hundred Years of Icon History at Christie's - Icons and Artefacts from the Orthodox World

Cerca Series: Nina Katchadourian at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Eric Forstmann: Cash, Clouds, Shirts, Fruit at Butler Institute

June UBS 12x12 Presents Mark Booth at MCA Chicago

NGA Opens Luminous Photographs of the Ocean and Beach by Richard Misrach

Gregg Hill: Smashed at 3rd Rail Gallery

Hauser and Wirth Presents Hans Josephsohn's Sculptures

Featherin' our Nests Fundraiser Auctions Plunderware Birdhouse by Local Artist

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful