san-francisco

“Slices Of Time: California Landscapes 1860–1880, 1960–1980,”

Oakland Museum of California

In her introductory essay to “Slices of Time: California Landscapes 1860–1880, 1960–1980,” curator Therese Heyman appropriately refers to nature as California photography’s “most powerful and typical genre.” “Slices of Time . . .” concerns itself with a particular relationship within this tradition: the comparison to be drawn between the mammoth-plate explorer/photographers of the 19th century (e.g. Thomas Houseworth, Eadweard Muybridge, A.J. Russell, Carleton Watkins, A.W. Ericson, and Charles L. Weed) and the late-20th-century photographers who, in Heyman’s words, have returned to “the objective, neutral and evidently ‘real.’”

The comparison is a provocative one. Much that has been produced in the last decade, particularly by the so-called “New Topographics” photographers (Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal, and Stephen Shore, for example), manifests a formalism analogous to the clarity

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.