Wheat, Washington 2009 - 2012
About the Artist
Neal Rantoul is a career artist and educator. He is recently retired from thirty years as head of the Photo Program at Northeastern University. Rantoul has exhibited widely, with over fifty solo exhibitions, and his work is represented in numerous private and public collections. He teaches regularly, and has led workshops at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston and the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. The artist has published widely, including works on his Cabela’s series (2009) as well as his Wheat imagery (2011).
About the Exhibit
The Danforth Museum of Art is pleased to present Neal Rantoul: Wheat, Washington, 2009-2012. This exhibition is an exploration of subject matter Rantoul has repeatedly returned to over the past decade—the wheat fields near Pullman, WA. Rantoul’s aerial photographs invite the viewer to perform a close analysis of an ever-changing landscape. His steady and consistent documentation, and approach to the subject with a repeated fresh eye, allows us to explore the impermanence of natural structures.
Rantoul is known for series of works exploring the tenuousness of form, a practice highlighted by this small, but choice, selection of wheat views taken over the past four years. These images ask the viewer to think beyond the landscape—the expertly framed views are striking abstractions, recalling cuts, ridges, sutures, and cropped figures. Repeated markings on the surface of the works result in an abstracted landscape transformed into a vibrant expressive being. Rantoul’s photographs ask us to think about consistent practice, process, and an understanding of the importance of place.