May 13 – July 3, 2004
Reception: Thursday, May 13, 7-9pm

Stephen Cohen Gallery, Inc.
7358 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90036
Contact: Shelley de Soto Tel, 323.937.5525, Fax, 323.937.5523
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Hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-5pm

Larry Schwarm, “Fire with Tree on Nelson Pasture, Lyon County, Kansas”, 2002

A group exhibition, “American Landscapes – 4 Views: Photographs by Geoffrey Fricker, Louise Parsons, Larry Schwarm, William Wylie,” will be on view at the Stephen Cohen Gallery from May 13 through July 3, 2004. The gallery is located at 7358 Beverly Boulevard and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. A landscape presents many forces at work – ranging from the biological and the geological to the human. This show features selected images that highlight not just the experiential, but also the scenic view, from four passionate and diverse American photographers.

Geoffrey Fricker’s large-scale black-and-white landscapes seek to portray nature as something more powerful than mankind. In many images, rain-saturated clouds and deep, penetrating fog envelope flooded roads, fields and bridges, creating a chilling, almost claustrophobic atmosphere. By closely examining the effects of land development politics in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, Fricker’s photography gives voice to the complex relationship between human desire and the ongoing preservation of the environment. His photographs are in housed in a number of permanent collections, including the Oakland Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress.

Emotionally stirring, full of texture and reminiscent of a more prosperous time, Louise Parson’s images capture the vanishing architecture of the rural South. Whether its archiving the weathered clapboards of a long-abandoned building or emphasizing a hand-painted sign calling one and all to worship, Parson achieves a dimension in her work that goes beyond documentation. A resident of South Carolina, Parsons sees her pieces as monuments to another era. “There’s an intangible layer of experience that surrounds these remains,” she notes. “To me, the spirit of those times comes through the visuals.” Parson’s photography is featured in the University of Nebraska’s Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden and the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as corporate and private collections.

William Wylie’s work focuses on how we stand in relation to the landscape, how we move from the general to the specific, and how our lives are interwoven into the histories of places. In this show, his rich black-and-white photographs – some negatives produced by the light of the moon – call attention to the force of Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River’s flow, the irreversible dimension of time, and the always-changing conditions of light. “Although many sites retain the marks of human occurrences,” he says, “the river itself remains wild and full of possibility.” And nothing is ever still. Wylie’s images appear in the permanent collections throughout the country, including the Princeton University Art Museum, the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Art, the Denver Art Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum and the University of Virginia Art Museum.

Larry Schwarm has spent the last 12 years recording the burning of the tallgrass prairie in his native state of Kansas. The recipient of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize, his searing color photographs were made on the country’s largest remaining stand of tallgrass prairie. Through the fire’s astonishing shapes, colors and fluidity, you can almost hear the burning and feel the warmth. “Fire is essential to the prairie ecosystem,” he says. “What started as a natural phenomenon became an annual event controlled by people. The metaphor is obvious – without destruction there is no rebirth.” His work appears in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of American Art/Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the Duke University Archives.

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