New York

Jem Southam

Robert Mann Gallery

The simple yet compelling concept behind this quiet show of several series of photographs matched a sense of modesty in the images themselves. Bristol-born photographer Jem Southam visits rural sites, mainly in the south of England, several times over the course of months or years and shoots large-format images from about the same spot to document the natural and man-made changes that have taken place. In “Rivermouths,” 1996–2000, a coastline erodes; in “Rockfalls,” 1994–2000, a cliff face crumbles; and in “Ponds,” 1996–2000, a dew pond fills out. The subdued, rather traditionally composed landscapes are also undeniably romantic, though they provoke less a powerful longing for distant havens than a sort of dry prickle of backyard environmentalism. In more sensitive viewers, they may also trigger a satisfying sense of the long nights and days during which these developments take place in

to keep reading

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

Not registered for Register here.

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

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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