David Plowden: An American Master celebrates the photographer’s recent gift to the museum of a selection of his key images made over the course of his more than 60 year career. Plowden’s hopeful and elegiac images express a personal vision infused with a sense of wonder and reverence for the American landscape and the ingenuity of man.
Including more than 70 images, the exhibition carefully follows Plowden’s exploration of the medium’s 20th century evolution, from a modern vision of the sublime to a postmodern preoccupation with the banalities of an increasingly urbanized landscape. Even in the presence of suburban sprawl, Plowden manages to capture a kind of beauty in the landscape that the passerby might overlook. Like the great 19th century photographers before him, Plowden is adept at directing our gaze to the beauty of the rural landscape, while his critical eye attends us to what we see more clearly: a voluptuous ocean of grain enveloping a subdivision; the Gothic intricacy of an old bridge span; a nearly empty motel parking lot amid nothing; a grand sprawl of trash and utility poles leading us to Liberty.
An American Master
June 25 – September 11, 2016