For more than twenty years, Richard Misrach has been photographing the American desert, revealing a complex landscape that is as captivating as it is mysterious.Through his numerous cantos's [groups of pictures] Misrach has created one of the most extensive projects in contemporary photography.
For most people, the desert defines itself as a place where little happens, except the occasional glimpse of tumbleweed blowing across the sand. There are no movie theaters, coffee shops, malls or cars. There are no visible towns for miles and few noises, except the sound of your own breathing. In Misrach's desert, the land vibrates with underground nuclear testing and the sky illuminates with radiation seeping into the atmosphere, creating fantastic colors at every glance.
Whether photographing a flooded town, a desert fire, an abandoned nuclear test site or the colors on the horizon emanating from a small town miles away, Richard Misrach draws the viewer into his world through his mastery of color. Ranging from beautiful lakes to secret military bunkers to speed racing on the Utah salt flats, Misrach's work chronicles mans involvement in the desert, while always paying homage to the intrinsic beauty provided by nature. It's through beauty that Misrach's social concerns are most revealed. By pulling the viewer into a glowing light or calm body of water, he presents situations which leave us asking questions about the American desert -- a desert which continues to heal and revive itself regardless of mans actions.
Richard Misrach's work has been exhibited throughout the world and is included in most museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art [New York], Museum of Modern Art [New York], Center National d'Art at de Culture Georges Pompidou [Paris], National Museum of American Art [Washington, DC] and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art [Japan].