New York

Lewis Baltz

Castelli Graphics

Lewis Baltz’s photographs belong to what might be called the elegiac sublime tradition in American photography. Like Robert Adams, Baltz depicts both the transcendent beauty of the landscape of the American West and the depredations that it has suffered from the encroachments of industrial society. In the work here, Baltz shows the wasteland of San Francisco’s Candlestick Point, a barren area where chaotic tangles of rubbish and the rusting shells of derelict cars pile up in the shadows of the local sports stadium. In many of these pictures, junk contends with the remnants of nature—a stand of scrubby trees is surrounded by a panorama of abandoned tires, a weed-covered mound of dirt confronts a pile of undifferentiated rubble.

Like Baltz’s earlier photographs of industrial parks and tract houses, this new work challenges familiar ideas of subject matter, rejecting centralized compositions

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