The Poetics of Place

12 Dec 2016 — 28 May 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, United States

20 APRIL 2017
Sarah Anne Johnson Canadian, born 1976 , Circling the Arctic , 2011 , Chromogenic print , 20 3/8 × 30 5/8 in. (51.7 × 77.8 cm) . The Metropolitan Museum of Art , Purchase, Gary and Ellen Davis Gift, 2016  © Sarah Anne Johnson, Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York
Sarah Anne Johnson Canadian, born 1976 , Circling the Arctic , 2011 , Chromogenic print , 20 3/8 × 30 5/8 in. (51.7 × 77.8 cm) . The Metropolitan Museum of Art , Purchase, Gary and Ellen Davis Gift, 2016 © Sarah Anne Johnson, Courtesy Julie Saul Gallery, New York

The 41 works in the exhibition The Poetics of Place: Contemporary Photographs from The Met Collection will survey the diverse ways in which contemporary artists have photographed landscape and the built world over the last half century. It will be on view December 12, 2016, through May 28, 2017, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition will open with works from the late 1960s and early 1970s by artists working in America and Europe, such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Dan Graham, and Donald Judd, who brought the lessons of Minimal and Conceptual art to bear on views of nature, both raw and acculturated. Also included will be a series of unique Polaroid prints from the mid-1970s made by Walker Evans in and around Hale County, Alabama, nearly 40 years following his classic images of sharecroppers during the Great Depression.

Images from the 1980s and 1990s attest to a swing away from the de-skilling associated with radical ‘60s art-making and toward a new interest in technically assured large-scale prints that nevertheless incorporated earlier lessons from Land Art, Conceptualism, and other postwar avant-garde movements. This section will feature works by Lothar Baumgarten, Sally Mann, An-My Lê,Toshio Shibata, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others.

The exhibition will conclude with recently made works by artists including Matthew Brandt, Roe Ethridge, Sarah Anne Johnson, and Wolfgang Staehle—whose mesmerizing piece Eastpoint (September 15, 2004) (2004–6) projects a 24-hour cycle of over 8,000 still images synchronized to real time of the same Hudson River that inspired such American painters as Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.