Landscape is unquestionably the richest genre in photography, and has been since its beginnings. It now finds itself at the cutting edge of contemporary image making, driven partly by an enduring fascination with the land, and partly by the urgent need to take stock of the extraordinary forces impacting on our environment. Fact and fiction mix in this first truly international survey of a vibrant, burgeoning field, its masterful twenty-first-century practitioners, and their work.
William A. Ewing, the eminent photography author and curator, has selected 240 photographs by over 100 photographers, ranging from renowned figures such as Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Susan Derges and Edward Burtynsky, to younger rising stars, including Olaf Otto Becker, Pieter Hugo and Penelope Umbrico. Each represents an individual or original viewpoint of a shared concern for our rapidly changing environment.
Organized into ten themes – Sublime; Pastoral; Artefacts; Rupture; Playground; Scar; Control; Enigma; Hallucination; Reverie – Landmark covers the full range of the genre, and sometimes even goes outside it: from bucolic images picturing the last vestiges of ‘nature’, through disturbing depictions of a sullied Earth, scarred and abused, to surreal and artificial landscapes where nature is channelled, controlled and regulated.
William A. Ewing contributes introductory texts to each of the sections, as well as the preface and introduction, and the book also features concise statements by the photographers themselves. The result is a thought-provoking meditation on the meaning of landscape in today’s world.