Lucas Foglia, A Natural Order

9 Nov — 1 Dec 2012 at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, United Kingdom

22 AUGUST 2012
Homeschooling Chalkboard, Tennessee, 2008 © Lucas Foglia
Homeschooling Chalkboard, Tennessee, 2008 © Lucas Foglia

Michael Hoppen Contemporary is delighted to announce the first UK exhibition of Lucas Foglia's beautiful and internationally acclaimed series A Natural Order, which is accompanied by the highly commended photo book of the same title.

Lucas Foglia grew up on a farm on Long Island just 30 miles from Manhattan. His parents were part of the post 1960's "back to the land movement". Much of the area surrounding the family home became increasingly urbanised, but his parents continued to strive for self-sufficiency. "While malls and supermarkets developed around us, we heated our house with wood, farmed and canned our food, and bartered the plants we grew for everything from shoes to dental work".

Lucas Foglia is a graduate of Yale, where he was taught by Gregory Crewdson and Tod Papageorge. In 2006 he set off with his camper van and camera and for four years travelled throughout the southeastern states-Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina- immersing himself in the lives of people living in remote, often 'alternative' communities.

Foglia himself describes the pictures as an "interpreted narrative" of life off the grid. These micro-societies - motivated by environmental concerns, religious beliefs, or anxieties about aggressive globalisation – have built homes using local materials; water is obtained from nearby springs, and people hunt, gather, or grow their own food. In the pictures we see a real joy in the beauty of nature, and yet also the hardships of living in this way. "I wanted to see if I could find the absolute, if there were communities or individuals who lived off the grid and were wholly self-sufficient."

The harmonious natural colours, and iconic, evocative compositions are at once a vision of the pastoral and also an idealised view of sustainable living. However, Foglia does not shy away from highlighting the social issues facing these communities and the contrast to and undeniable continuing connection with, contemporary urban life. Indeed he notes - "Many do not wholly reject the modern world. Instead, they step away from it and choose the parts that they want to bring with them. Some have websites that they update using laptop computers, and cell phones that they charge on car batteries or solar panels."

Lucas Foglia (b. 1983) is currently based in San Francisco. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Art, Lucas exhibits and publishes his photographs internationally. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Pilara Foundation and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Fine Art. Foglia has been nominated for the Discovery Award, and exhibited at this year's Rencontres d'Arles.