Desert Chronicle

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© Courtesy of the artist & Bonni Benrubi Gallery
Desert Chronicle

521 West 26th Street
2nd floor
New York, NY 10001
March 7th, 2013 - April 13th, 2013

Tue-Sat 10-6


Bonni Benrubi Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Laura McPhee. Desert Chronicle is built upon McPhee's work from 2010 - 2012 documenting the Western American landscapes of Idaho, Utaha and Arizona. McPhee's images are at once lyrical displays of the country's vast desert regions, and complex explorations of our role in their delicate balance.

Desert Chronicle will feature thirteen large scale color photographs. Photographed with a large format view camera, these striking images spin visual stories about time, both geologic and human. A serpentine river cuts deep incisions in the land over eons. A gold mine on the edge of the Black Rock Desert has the earth slashed open and its ruddy interior revealed. A still-life found at the edge of an alkali flat reveals intricate details of daily life-a tiny plastic toy among shards of glass and rust, a penny, machine parts, and desert varnished tin cans. All evoke contemplation about the unintended consequences of humanity's attempts to control and manage nature and how we use the earth and to what ends. A painterly meditation on our material lives, the images depict our paradoxical approaches as we at once protect, alter, and extract from the land.

Born in Manhattan, Laura McPhee grew up in central New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work, which ranges from portrait to landscape to still life, is widely exhibited nationally and internationally. McPhee was awarded a Fulbright Scholars Fellowship in 1998 for work in India and Sri Lanka and a residency in Idaho from Alturas Foundation 2003-2005. She was also awarded a New England Foundation for the Arts fellowship in 1995 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship in 1993. Her photographs are included in many permanent museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is currently a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and lives in Brookline, MA.