From Two Worlds, a solo exhibition of photography by Linda Connor, presents two seemingly divergent bodies of work. Dark Forces reveals Connor’s fascination with the time worn monasteries encountered in Tibet and Northern India. Presented as large-scale photographs, some printed on silk, the imagery reveals iconography of the enlightened and the terrifying, and spiritually charged deities that protect and guard the sacred spaces they occupy.
The Olson House, made famous by the American painter Andrew Wyeth, is a portfolio of quiet and haunting images of interior spaces and landscapes devoid of human presence, yet filled with history and reference.
Connor’s Dark Forces address the entropy of time and the political desecration of Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and Ladakh. Remnants of ornately drawn murals speak of the afterlife and reincarnation, an iconography rich in story. Avalokitesvara “The Great Bodhisattva of Compassion” resides intact in a 14th century meditation cave in Ladakh, India. The subject of Connor’s handmade artist book, the accordion format interweaves images of the deity with surrounding Himalayan landscapes.
In The Olson House series, Connor’s 8 x 10 view camera honors both Christina’s World made famous by Andrew Wyeth and also pays homage to Walker Evans, Frederick Sommer, and Charles Sheeler. From New England herself, Connor interprets Wyeth’s landscapes with a knowing sensitivity and freshness, and the unexpected response of being someplace for the first time.
Connor is a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute and has taught there for over 40 years. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship and three National Endowment for the Arts grants. She has had solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and Center for Creative Photography, Tucson. Her work is included in significant collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; di Rosa; Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. In 2008, Chronicle Books published Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor in conjunction with a traveling retrospective exhibition. In 2002, she founded PhotoAlliance. A monograph of The Olson House series has been published by Datz Press.