Petaluma, CA, 1979
Landscape has been an enduring tradition throughout the history of photography. The grand and sublime traditions of landscape photography have given way, in the work of many contemporary photographers, to a new interpretation revealing urban life that has been altered by the human presence.
Landscape no longer pertains just to the land, but the structures and people that inhabit it. The photographers in this section have photographed a landscape reminiscent of the Nineteenth Century, the contemporary landscape and the buildings that occupy it, and the architectural landscape.
Catherine Wagner and Laurie Brown photograph an ever-changing landscape full of industrial sites and urbanity. They were both actively involved in a movement called New Topographies, which portrayed the contemporary landscape as one that has been altered by human presence. (Above: Laurie Brown, Untitled, 1979.) Their photographs depict an ironic relationship to the landscape, as if in reaction to human presence and to the grand and sublime traditions of traditional landscape photography.
All images are copyright by the artist or by UC Regents, 1999, all rights reserved.