Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Peter Brown: West of Last Chance

November 1 – November 29, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 8, 2-5pm

Artist Talk in CAMERA: Saturday, November 8, 1pm (please RSVP, seating limited)

The gallery is pleased to present the first Canadian solo exhibition by American photographer Peter Brown.

Peter Brown (b. 1948, Northampton, Massachusetts), who studied art and literature at Stanford University, is an award winning photographer who has been dedicated to documenting the Western American landscape for the last twenty-five years.

Brown's large format photographs pay homage to the people, land, and small towns of the Western Plains. The evidence that these images present describes the power struggle between nature and the people who occupy these lands. The deserted homes, boarded up shops and the endless possibility of open space is a testament of the hardships that the area's inhabitants have endured. The series, "West of Last Chance", is also the subject of a book in collaboration with American novelist Kent Haruf, published by W.W. Norton in 2008. Kent Haruf writes, "You have to know how to look at this country. You have to slow down. It isn't pretty, but it's beautiful." Despite the initial appearance of unadorned images that present economic hardship, population loss, and environmental degradation, Brown's precise composition captures the essence of the Western Plains and the culture of the people who inhabit it.

Brown's photographs can be found in the collections of the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Los Angles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX; among many others. He is also the recipient of many awards, including: the Dorothea Lange – Paul Taylor Prize; the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award from Columbia University and LIFE magazine; an Imogen Cunningham Award; the Photographer/Educator of the Year Award from the Houston Center for Photography; the Rice University Glasscock School Teaching Prize; and the Fred Whitehead Prize, with Molly Renda, from the Texas Institute of Letters for his book On the Plains (W.W. Norton, 1999). Additionally, in recognition of his work in the Houston community, Mayor Bill White proclaimed November 3rd, 2007 "Peter Brown Day".

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