Monday, March 5, 2018

Sally Mann at the National Gallery of Art




Distinguished Southern photographer Sally Mann is having a major retrospective show of her work at National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, up now through May 28th, 2018. 

This is too important an event for Southern photography for me to let it slip by unnoticed.  

This show signals Mann's acceptance as among the most distinguished of living American artists

The show contains some 110 of Mann's photographs, ranging over her entire career. Here is what the National Gallery says about the show:

"For more than forty years, Sally Mann (American, born 1951) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore the overarching themes of existence: memory, desire, death, the bonds of family, and nature’s magisterial indifference to human endeavor. 

"What unites this broad body of work is that it is all bred of a place, the American South. A native of Lexington, Virginia, Mann has long written about what it means to live in the South and be identified as a southerner. 

"Using her deep love of her native land and her knowledge of its fraught history, she asks provocative questions—about history, identity, race, and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.  

"Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings considers how Mann’s relationship with this land has shaped her work and how the legacy of the South—as both homeland and graveyard, refuge and battleground—continues to permeate American identity.

"Organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains—and including many works not previously published or publicly shown, the exhibition is the first major survey of the artist’s work to travel internationally. 

"The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with essays that explore the development of Mann’s art; her family photographs; the landscape as repository of personal, cultural, and racial memory; and her debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques."

Mann's show will travel after it closes in DC to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., then to venues in Los Angeles, Houston, Paris and Atlanta. 

This is a not-to-be-missed show for all of us, and for anyone interested in Southern photography.  

Here is a review of this show, from the Washington Post.
  

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Southern Photographer takes a Sabbatical



The Southern Photographer (aka John N. Wall, see image above) is taking a sabbatical. Professional work demands are crowding in while the subject of Southern photography continues to expand in scope and variety. 

As some of you know, I have a day job as a professor of English literature at NC State University.  

We've been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to recreate through digital modeling the look and sound of worship in St Paul's Cathedral in London in the 1620's. We are recreating a part of London that was totally destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Here is a preliminary example of the kind of thing we are trying to produce. 



You can see more if you go here: vpcp.chass.ncsu.edu

Our grant runs out at the end of this year, and there is till much to do. I'm not doing anyone any favors by trying to fit in work on this blog along with trying to meet deadlines with this multi-year project.

So, after 8 years, 833 blog entries, 163 loyal followers, and 530,676 pageviews, we take a pause. 

Titus Heagins and Ralph Burns at CAM Wilmington




Durham-based photographer Titus Brooks Heagins (see image above) and Asheville-based photographer Ralph Burns (see image below) have work in a group show called Created by Light -- Photographs from North Carolina Collections, now up through February 11th, 2018 at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC. 


Heagins and Burns will discuss their work at a gathering at CAM Wilmington on Sunday, January 14th, 2018, at 2:00 pm. The discussion will be monitored by Jennifer Dasal, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, in Raleigh.

This exhibition explores the photography collections of eight North Carolina institutions, including the Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill; the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville; the Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington; the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, Raleigh; the Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville; the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; the Mint Museum, Charlotte; and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

The over 100 works included in the exhibition range from 1887 to 2016 with pioneers of the medium including Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Lewis Hine, Robert Maplethorpe, Edward Muybridge, Andres Serrano, Mickalene Thomas, Lorna Simpson and Alfred Stieglitz.

North Carolina photographers with work in this show, in addition to Burns and Heagins, include Diego Camposeco, Carolyn DeMerritt, Taj Forer, Cathryn Griffin, George Masa, Elizabeth Matheson, John Menapace, Susan Harbage Page and Caroline Vaughan.

Definitely worth a visit to Wilmington!