Posts Tagged ‘Mitch Epstein’

ECOAESTHETIC: The Tragedy of Beauty

June 15, 2010

ECOAESTHETIC is an annual summer experience of environmental issues affecting our visual world and spiritual selves through exhibitions and special events.

ECOAESTHETIC: The Tragedy of Beauty is the first exhibition of SEA to be mounted in Exit Art’s main gallery. In keeping with SEA’s mission to present artworks that address socio-environmental concerns – and to unite artists, scholars, scientists and the public in discussion on these issues –ECOAESTHETIC will establish a summer encounter of social and environmental projects. Through the work of nine international photographers, it approaches the mystery of beauty in the natural and built environment, which can be destructive or utopian.

The Tragedy of Beauty will focus on photography of land where the tragedy of the image becomes the aesthetic of the environment. The artists in this exhibition do not have a passive engagement with the environment; rather, they seek out beautiful and tragic images to emphasize the human impact on fragile ecosystems, to elucidate our relationship to nature, and to visualize the violence of natural disasters. The purpose of The Tragedy of Beauty is to demonstrate that global environmental struggles are creating an aesthetic.

In conjunction with The Tragedy of Beauty, Exit Art will also create a collective terrarium in its two ground floor windows facing 36th Street and 10th Avenue. For this project, the public has been invited to bring a plant and a photo of themselves with the plant to Exit Art, in order to contribute to a communal garden that gives a presence to the local environmental movement.

Curated by Papo Colo, Jeanette Ingberman, Lauren Rosati and Herb Tam.

Edward Burtynsky (Canada); Mitch Epstein (USA); Anthony Hamboussi (USA); Chris Jordan (USA); Christopher LaMarca (USA); Sze Tsung Leong (USA); David Maisel (USA); Susannah Sayler/The Canary Project (USA); Jo Syz (UK)

Exit Art
475 Tenth Ave
New York, NY 10018

T. 212 966 7745
F. 212 925 2928

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 8:00pm

Opening Reception: Friday June 16, 2010, 7-10 pm.
Dates of Exhibition: June 18 – August 18, 2010.


Mitch Epstein: American Power

July 21, 2009
BP Carson Refinery, California 2007, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

BP Carson Refinery, California 2007, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

Mitch Epstein is best known for his photographs of American life. From the demise of his father’s small business, to society’s recreational idiosyncrasies, to the face of a changing New York City, Epstein delivers a style classified somewhere between conceptual and documentary, showing the ordinary in its extraordinary state. His switch from black and white to color photography in the 70s was one of the first to be accepted as “art”, and not just slick advertising, which is what color was used for before that time.

Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond, West Virginia 2004, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond, West Virginia 2004, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

Between 2003 and 2009, Epstein photographed the United States landscape and society as it related to energy production. “Energy tourism”– Epstein called it in an artist statement. He set out to photograph fossil fuel, nuclear, as well as green energy production sights, and their affects on the people, life, and environs directly surrounding it. They raise questions not only of western culture and its respective energy use, but also of shifting and often times unbalanced states of power– the power of nature vs. electrical power vs. political power vs. America’s power in terms of the global perspective.


Altamont Pass Wind Farm, California II 2007, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

Epstein visited 25 states over the past 6 years shooting nuclear power plants, wind farms, coal plants, and the Americans who live with them in their very own backyards. He did, however, encounter several setbacks. First was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which affected 30% of land in the US used for oil production. More oil refineries line the Gulf Coast than anywhere else in the country. Epstein shifted gears for this area turning his focus from oil production to the coast’s vulnerability in future natural disasters.

Biloxi, Mississippi 2005, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

Biloxi, Mississippi 2005, 70 x 92 inches, from American Power

For more images and information on American Power and other photographic projects by Mitch Epstein, please visit his website or NYC gallery.

American Power is available for pre-order on Amazon by clicking on the book.