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The Illinois School of Architecture Lecture | Spring 2022
A Prairie State of Mind by
Celebrating the American heartland as only Larry Kanfer can, A Prairie State of Mind takes readers over fields fertile and fallow and through the eternal cycle of the seasons. Walk roads melodic with birdsong and the chatter of cicadas. Look onto hillsides plowed into geometric perfection while breathtaking thunderheads boil overhead. Experience barn textures and rusted sheds pulled from the past and wind turbines signaling the future. Selected from Kanfer's new collection, A Prairie State of Mind portrays a land of serene beauty and startling contrasts. His perspectives, landscapes, and details embrace the Midwest, confirming that throughout the day and across time, the prairie connects us all.
Publication Date: 2016
Opening Chicagoscapes propels the reader into the breathtaking grandeur and warm humanity of one of the world's great cities, a metropolis both lavish with its pleasures and as hard as weathered steel, a prairie-bound Oz that demands commitment from those seeking its truths. Larry Kanfer and native Chicagoan Alaina Kanfer have captured authentic moments that invite the viewer into pocket universes achieved in collaboration between an acclaimed photographic artist and the living world. From the deep blues of Lake Michigan to imposing winter cityscapes, from awe-inspiring skyscrapers to corner hot dog joints, and from the lakefront chess obsessives to Maxwell Street's indefatigable vendors, Larry Kanfer brings the mesmerizing sensibility acclaimed in his collections Prairiescapes and On Firm Ground to illuminate the subtleties of mood and forces of nature that make Chicago a city unlike any other.
Publication Date: 2014
On Second Glance by
Without the evident drama of treacherous glaciers or mountain peaks, the midwestern landscape may - on first glance - appear commonplace. But those who look again will find an uncommon beauty as eloquent as that of the highest waterfall. With this distinctive collection of photographs, Larry Kanfer uncovers anew the drama of the prairie's changing skies and seasons and celebrates the serene dignity of the Midwest. Elsewhere there are physical changes, states Kanfer, but here the changes are chronological. In my photographs I show time - seasonal change, the cycles of life. That's where the beauty lies. As in his highly acclaimed earlier collection, Prairiescapes, Kanfer presents his own unmistakable vision of the vast heartland. Karla Vallance on National Public Radio described Prairiescapes as capturing the uncelebrated fields and streams around the town where I grew up and turning the water of those ordinary places in mundane moments into the wine of art. His photographs are breathtaking in their amazing grace. Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post Book World said, It may take a patient and discerning eye to find beauty in the flat landscape of the American prairie, but beauty is just what Larry Kanfer has found. With On Second Glance, Kanfer points as well to the overlooked details of the heartland. From Flatville to Foosland, from Santa Claus to Montezuma, Kanfer creates a remarkable portrayal of the working farmland of Illinois and Indiana. His photographs take on the seasonal splendors of sky and silo, of setting sun and rising grain. A compelling collection by one of the Midwest's finest landscape photographers, On Second Glance makes an elegant gift for anyone withfriends or memories in the heartland.
Publication Date: 1992
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