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Santa Fe
Victoria Sambunaris
James Kelly Contemporary
1611 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501
June 20, 2009 - July 18, 2009

On the Precipice of Cataclysm
by E-Slant Team

James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs by Victoria Sambunaris. The exhibition will consist of new work from her most recent sojourn to the vast western expanses of the United States, as well as work from previous series documenting trains, trucks and mines. This will be her third exhibition with the gallery.

Sambunaris’ new work comes from her 2008 trip to Yellowstone National Park and the Snake River Plane of southern Idaho. During her trip she was intrigued with the idea that Yellowstone is one of forty volcanic hotspots in the world and that it is an active super volcano due to erupt, causing cataclysmic changes to Earth. In this series, she has documented the result of 10 million years of movement of the North American plate over the Yellowstone hotspot the photos depict previous volcanic activity represented by the calderas, buttes, & lava fields, of the Snake River Plane in southern Idaho and the active guysers, mud pots, and steam vents of Yellowstone.
For her trip to Yellowstone and southern Idaho she returned to Interstate 80 to make the journey from New York out west, a return to the same route she previously followed in her earlier explorations of the American West. Along with works from the new series the gallery will be showing several earlier photos from previous series that were taken while traveling along I-80 including the Trucks and Trains series from 2001 that she documented throughout Texas, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Also on view will be works from 2007 including images of coalmines in Pennsylvania and Wyoming, the development of Salt Lake City and a dam in Utah.
Sambunaris’ work is very much rooted in the tradition of landscape photography, and like Timothy O’Sullivan and Carleton Watkins before her she is documenting a place and in doing so documenting how humans are affecting the nature around them. She explains her work as: 
I am constantly striving to understand the history of the landscape and our relationship to it physically, historically, socially and culturally. The evolution of the social and cultural history of a place juxtaposed with the natural landscape inspires me to continue on these journeys yearly to immerse myself in the landscape in search of who we are.
Sambunaris graduated from the Yale University MFA program in 1999 and now teaches photography at the Yale school of architecture. Her work is included in many museums including, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; the National Museum of Women in the Arts; and the Lannan Foundation.  Concurrent to the gallery show the Lannan Foundation Gallery will be exhibiting their extensive collection of earlier work by the artist. The Lannan Foundation Gallery show will open Saturday, June 20th from 3-5 p.m. The artist will be in attendance at the exhibition opening at James Kelly Contemporary, Saturday, June 20th from 3-5:00 p.m.
Victoria Sambunaris
Untitled, Coal Mine Series
39 x 55 inches
ed of 5

Posted by E-Slant Team on 7/12/09 | tags: landscape photography

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