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Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor Now Open at Phoenix Art Museum
Linda Connor, Lotus, Kashmir, India, 1985. ©Linda Connor.

PHOENIX.- In Linda Connor’s photographs, even the humblest subjects assume a visual radiance. Both a rock in the desert and an ancient temple receive equal treatment through Connor’s transporting lens. Her photographs reveal the essence of her subjects, yielding a sense of truth and timelessness. Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor on view now through March 8, 2009 at Phoenix Art Museum, is an aesthetic journey through the artist’s worldly pursuit of diverse and compelling subjects. This comprehensive exhibition represents thirty years of photographs and Connor’s extensive work in India, Indonesia, Turkey, Cambodia, Egypt, Tibet and the American Southwest.

“Connor’s engagement with global cultures is particularly timely,” commented Rebecca Senf, Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography, Phoenix Art Museum. “By contemplating the sacred, she promotes heightened attentiveness to that which is ultimately unknowable but infinitely creative. Above all, her work celebrates the interconnectedness, intricacy and beauty of the world.”

An internationally renowned photographer, Connor embraces a wide range of subject matter, often capturing sites of mystery and contemplation that connect the physical and spiritual world. Just as sacred art evokes deep meaning without explicit explanation, Connor hopes her photographs serve a similar metaphoric function. Her photographs also capture elements of everyday life, such as the purposeful way people arrange their surroundings or the power of light to transform a space.

Connor’s technique is very distinct. A large-format view camera allows her to achieve remarkable clarity and rich detail. Her prints are created by direct contact of the 8x10-inch negative on printing-out paper, exposed and developed using sunlight. Toned and fixed with gold chloride, the prints have a warmth, luminosity and delicacy seldom found in standard photographic printing.

Odyssey presents 96 photographs and includes some of Connor’s best known work from the past three decades, along with more recent works that have not previously been on view. Connor was personally involved with many aspects of the presentation, including the sequencing of the images to guide viewers into making unexpected associations, providing a more poetic way to view her images. The result encourages viewers to enter into a personal photographic odyssey.

“Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor presents not only the opportunity to see Connor’s amazing photographs, but to see them as the artist intended them to be viewed,” commented Senf. “This exhibition is an offering of Connor’s artistic vision.”

Infused with a curiosity and passion, Connor’s work honors her subjects and provides iconic glimpses beyond the world of physical appearance. A Bay Area resident and esteemed instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute for nearly forty years, she travels extensively to encounter and capture the ineffable. She has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, and has been published in numerous books, journals and catalogues. Her work is held in major museum collections – including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London – and has been supported by Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other recognitions for fine-arts photography and education.

Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor is presented by Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography and is on view in the Museum’s Doris and John Norton Gallery through March 8, 2009.

The exhibition tour was organized by Hal Fischer Associates, San Francisco. Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor will also be on view at Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ, March 27 – June 21, 2009; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA, December 12, 2009 – April 4, 2010; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, July 2 – October 10, 2010; and the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, FL, November 20, 2010 – February 11, 2011.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by Quarles & Brady, LLP and M&I Bank. Promotional support is provided by Westcor Shopping Centers, Barnes & Noble Booksellers,, and Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Chandler and Phoenix Public Libraries.

Admission to the exhibition is included in general museum admission, which is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (65+), $8 for full-time college students with ID, $4 for children ages 6-17 and free for children under 6 and for museum members. Admission is also free on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and for everyone on First Fridays, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

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