Beauty is Nothing
Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to announce our first exhibition featuring work by Emmet Gowin, one of America's foremost photographers. While earning his MFA at RISD, Gowin studied under photographer Harry Callahan, who became one of his mentors and greatest influences. Gowin was initially made famous by his intimate portraits of his wife and family in Virginia. Over the last twenty year, he has expanded the scope of his subjects, depicting the devastation and beauty of Mt St Helens, the haunting emptiness of Petra, and most recently, aerial scenes of man’s impact on the environment.
This exhibition consists of aerial views of the earth’s surface. Photographed in the United States, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Asia and the Middle East, they document the physical impact of pivot irrigation, military weapons testing, natural resource mining and more. Like the work of his contemporaries Richard Misrach and Edward Burtynsky, Gowin's photographs study the landscape and man’s complex relationship to it. His richly hand-toned silver gelatin prints have been characterized as “immorally gorgeous.” Even his most alarming views of the earth’s disturbed surface appear as starkly beautiful black and white compositions of light and form that invite long and lingering contemplation.
For nearly forty years, Emmet Gowin’s work has been included in exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Artist Fellowship (1974), two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1977, 1979), the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the State of Pennsylvania (1983), and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts (1992). Gowin's photographs are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He currently is a Professor of Art at Princeton University and resides in Newton, Pennsylvania with his wife, Edith.