Rhondal McKinney’s photographs transport the viewer within the vast and quiet landscape of rural Illinois, reminding them of the importance of stillness, time and memory. The artist affirms, “When I was a kid I used to ride around in my father’s pickup truck. He was a bird hunter and a fisherman and we might be on our way to run his nets in the river or driving around looking for quail or pheasant. Usually I didn’t know where we were headed. While we drove around my father chewed tobacco. If a quail ran across the road Dad would pull over, hold his hand against his chest as if to hold back a necktie and spit tobacco juice at the spot where the bird disappeared into the fencerow. The cab of that truck had been so dusty for so long that the dust clung to the dash, the visors, the floor– everywhere–like hide. Pop bottles banged together under the seat. As we drove along gravel roads past fields of clover and alfalfa, corn and wheat, past orchards and pastures and hardwood groves my father’s eyes moved constantly over the landscape. He had a thirst for the look of it. I remember wondering what it was that he was always looking at. Eventually I learned to see what he saw, to love what he loved”.
McKinney uses a large format view camera to transcribe the landscape he loves. His photographs are created through the process of contact printing, a method of fine printmaking that allows for generous and subtle tonalities and complete veracity, registering the subject with a sense of similitude and beauty.
His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amon Carter Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, St. Louis Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among others.
December 7, 2018 – January 25, 2019