Wide-ranging in subject and interpretation, these works capture and frame diverse vistas that explore humanity’s fluctuating relationship with nature and the built environment. While some artists continued the late nineteenth-century tradition of depicting sweeping panoramas of the natural landscape, others have chosen to highlight how humans have altered the landscape through urbanization and industrial encroachment.
Modern photographers, such as Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, and Edward Weston, frequently abstracted natural elements or isolated details in their photographs, emphasizing the formal qualities of the medium and exploiting the camera as an essentially mechanical tool.
In contrast, many contemporary photographers, such as Alan Cohen, Richard Meisinger, and Charles Traub, relied on the same visual elements—line, texture, form, and pattern—to explore the dynamics of place—in particular, how humans convert nature into suburban sprawl and impose borders that define cities and nation states.
By including an array of landscapes and cityscapes, this exhibition invites the viewer to consider not only how these artists navigate and visually interpret these environments, but also how humanity’s relationship with nature has changed over the last century.
This exhibition includes photography from the Krannert Art Museum collection by Berenice Abbott, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Art Sinsabaugh, Andy Warhol, and Edward Weston.
Curator: Kathryn Koca Polite, assistant curator
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