April 24th - May 29th, 2010
Reception: April 24th, 2010 3 - 5 PM
Craig Krull Gallery is pleased to present two photo-based exhibitions that investigate our relationship with the inhabited, arid American West. Michael Light: InterMountain and Marc Valesella: Not Negotiable will open on April 24th and continue through May 29th. These exhibitions consider our impact on the extended ecosystem of the West in terms of development, resource extraction, and environmental changes.
In his previous exhibition here, Michael Light presented images of the vast grid of Los Angeles at night. His new work moves east from California towards Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. Light continues his clear-eyed examination of the way we inhabit and alter our surroundings through a 4x5" aerial view camera from his self-piloted light aircraft or rented helicopters. His perspective addresses what critic Stephen Vincent calls "the mythology and consequences of American westward expansion." The mammoth hand-made photo books that Light creates (measuring 36x44" when opened) are a response to the efforts of 19th century photographers such as Timothy O'Sullivan. These pioneering photo-chroniclers of the West created volumes of photographs for government sponsored geological surveys that were intended to identify resources and attract settlement. The photographs in this exhibit range from images of the world's largest excavation at the Bingham Copper Mine near Salt Lake City, to the wholesale transformation of Wyoming's Green and Powder River Basins by relentless natural gas and coal extraction, to the architectures of economic stratification in Phoenix. The exhibit will also include two of Light's most recent photobooks, one in color focusing on the Snake River and Twin Falls, Idaho and the other a black and white journey above snow blanketed environs of Denver. A component of the exhibition will be on view concurrently at The Gallery at The Archer School for Girls (11725 Sunset Blvd. L.A.). A reception for Michael Light will take place at Craig Krull Gallery on Saturday April 24th from 3-5pm. The reception at the Archer School for Girls will be held the same afternoon from 4-5:30 with an artist talk to follow at 5:30. (Reservations for the talk can be made by calling 310/873-7043.)
In conjunction with the Michael Light exhibition, the gallery will present a series of photographs by Marc Valesella entitled Not Negotiable. The title refers to a statement made by then President George H.W. Bush during a 1992 Earth Summit. When asked why he was resistant to making changes that could help the environment, the President replied that the American way of life is “not negotiable.” Valesella’s black and white 20x24” photographs, made with an 8x10” camera, document dark and desolate landscapes of Southern California that have been ravaged by wildfires in an era of repeated annual droughts and some of most devastating fires on record.