Kopeikin Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition with American photographer Andrew Moore titled Dirt Meridian, coinciding with a book of the same name published by Damiani Editore. American photographer Andrew Moore (born 1957) is widely acclaimed for his photographic series, usually taken over many years, recording the effects of time on the natural and built landscape. The exhibition will open on Saturday, September 8th with a reception for the artist and book signing from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, with the show continuing through November 3rd.
The “Meridian” of the title refers to the 100th meridian, the longitude that neatly bisects the country and has long been considered the dividing line between the fertile green East and dry brown West of the United States. Much of the meridian traverses America’s “flyover country”, those remote and sparsely populated landscapes with a long history of repeated drought and failed dreams. Set within the context of that harsh backdrop, the photographs not only portray the land itself but also reflect upon the modern-day challenges posed to those who live there.
Shown in the main gallery are many of the low-altitude landscapes Moore made in collaboration with South Dakota crop duster who flew a specially modified plane with a camera attached its strut. The large-format photographs of the front gallery are more intimate in subject, depicting details, interiors and portraits from the High Plains. In a time when the impact of climate change is at the forefront of global concern, Moore’s work speaks of a land subject to extreme weather conditions, and where a few less inches of rain and a few degrees’ higher temperatures is all that lies between lush grassland and blowing sand.
Over the course of many years, I came to realize that what most attracted me to working along the 100th meridian was the land itself, the severe magnificence of its dirt and emptiness. Unlike the Native Americans—who mastered it with their acumen, bravery and speed—those who came to settle on the land survived mostly by hard-won perseverance. This book is in part about the legacy of their ambition and failure on these arid high plains, as well as the evolving story of this region of the country. But the hardness of the land also lies in its vast and sublime emptiness. Perhaps the greatest challenge in making these photographs was how to depict that emptiness but not make vacant images. As best I could, I have tried to place the subjects in this book in relief, not only against the backdrop of human events, but also in relation to the physical and transcendent dimensions of Emptiness.
Moore’s photographs are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Library of Congress amongst many other institutions. He has received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2014 and has as well been award grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the J M Kaplan Fund.