Lewis Baltz's Picturesque (November 22, 2009 - January 17, 2010)
"The mission of photography was to deliver the world and all its contents into the category of the picturesque. None of which has anything to do with art.
-- Lewis Baltz
In the 1970s, photographer Lewis Baltz realized several series that documented tract house developments and industrial parks in California and Utah. The works were remarkable at the time for being so unremarkable: the compositions are geometric, the images are flat, and the lifeless subjects are treated with a matter-of-factness that echoes the concerns of both Minimalism and Conceptual Art.
Baltz insists that these series be exhibited intact and in predetermmined sequences. The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California (1974), shown here, were first exhibited at Leo Castell Gallery in 1975. It was hung in a grid and accompanied by a limited-edition book of the same title.
At Triple Candie, the same images were presented, cut from a Steidl catalogue and then deliberately, and at times dramatically, altered by clipping away parts, hanging them sideways, or combining them with each other. Below, in a glass case, were amateur architectural models based on the photographs.