San Francisco

Doug Hall

Rena Bransten Gallery

Is anything spectacular anymore? Or has every natural vista and architectural masterpiece been reduced, in our age of skillful and omnipresent mechanical reproduction, to a screen saver, postcard, or billboard? Doug Hall’s large-scale color photographs often seem both to ask and answer these questions. Previously, his carefully tuned images of natural and constructed spaces exhibited a clear affinity with the work of Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, and Thomas Struth. But his most recent images reveal a subtle, ironic humor that sets them apart from those of his German counterparts.

Depicting subjects that range from the natural (the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park) to the architectural (the Guggenheim Museum and the Eiffel Tower), Hall’s scenes often have the sentimental artificiality of theater stages or movie sets—in part because they appear to be as much about people as

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