RICHARD MISRACH: DESERT CANTOS
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Albuquerque. The University of New Mexico Press. 1990 (1987). Third Printing. Softcover. Book Condition: Near Fine, very slight shelf wear and discoloration to exterior over time; interior is pristine. 105pp. (ill. in colour).
Essay by Reyner Banham.
Signed by the artist and dated “January 1986.”
Cover photographs: Desert Fire #1, 1983 (front); Diving Board, Salton Sea, 1983 (back).
This monograph accompanies the international exhibition of Richard Misrach’s desert photography, in which Misrach locates a particularly human landscape of intervention and evident consequence. As Reyner Banham writes in the catalogue essay of Misrach’s setting, “It is the desert that is truly ours, for we have made it so and must live with the consequences.” In vivid, burnt-retina reds and blurry yellows, Misrach’s photographs chronicle the Nevada Desert in images of highways, rusted gates, half-flooded lots, empty swimming pools, and the seemingly uninterrupted vistas of brush and sand belonging to that imaginary desert we’ve all but used up.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, “Richard Misrach: Photographs of the American Desert,” organized by the Oakland Museum, Oakland CA, which travelled in the USA from 9 January 1987 - August 1989; and for the National Art Gallery, New Zealand, where it showed internationally from March - May 1988.