Opening Reception: Friday, October 21, 2011, 5:00-7:00 pm
James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to announce Land Marks: Photographs from Taos, New Mexico an exhibition of photographs by Debora Hunter. This will be her first solo show with the gallery.
In “Land Marks,” Debora Hunter’s images capture human endeavors to inhabit a landscape, to belong to a place and its people.
Modernist photographers like Ansel Adams created classic black and white images of Indian and Hispanic architecture set against the Southwest’s vast skies and dramatic landforms. In this series, begun in 2004, Hunter responds to that tradition with rich color images that frame the built environment of immigrant Anglos—baby boomer retirees and counterculture dropouts—who are altering forever the visual experience of Taos Valley.
Hunter’s photographs include the familiarly iconic, enduring vistas: arroyos slicing through high desert plains, distant ranges, and Taos Mountain always looming beneath azure skies and dramatic clouds. But foregrounding those views of nature are the equally familiar rented storage units, gas stations, derelict vehicles, mobile and makeshift homes, traditional adobe dwellings, suburban Southwestern style ranch houses, and high-end luxury residences, some under construction, others starkly derelict, abandoned.
In these images the natural and the built environment assert dominion, and disclose a shared vulnerability. The community’s ethnic and class differences stand out in the contrasting architectures of privilege and poverty, while signs of transiency everywhere contrast with the permanency residents would like to assign to their beloved Mountain. These photographs document a world in flux, where irony and grace, discord and harmony, grandeur and the mundane variously combine in this legendary valley.
Hunter’s baccalaureate from Northwestern University was in English Literature, and she received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is in the permanent collection of many public institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago, Corcoran Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Fine Art, Amon Carter Museum, Yale University Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Art, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum.
Photographs from her Taos series will also be exhibited concurrently in “Contemplative Landscape at the New Mexico History Museum, October 23 through December 31, 2012.
Debora will be giving a talk about her work at the gallery on October 15th at 2:00pm
The artist will be in attendance for the opening at James Kelly Contemporary, on October 21nd from 5-7 pm.