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Favorite Photographs from 2020

photo-eye Gallery Favorite Photographs from 2020 photo-eye Gallery
Because we had the opportunity of viewing so many wonderful and inspiring images, narrowing this rather unusual year down to 7 photographs was a difficult task — in this post, you will find a few of our staff’s favorites.

The year 2020 needs no introduction. Despite it all, the arts proved to be a vital refuge for everyone during these uncertain times — offering space to heal and reflect. 
Because we had the opportunity of viewing so many wonderful and inspiring images, narrowing this rather unusual year down to 7 photographs was a difficult task — below you will find a few of our staff’s favorites.

A huge thank you for your interest and support this year. Enjoy our selection! And please contact us if you would like more information about our picks.

Thomas Jackson (see image above)

Thomas Jackson's whimsical and paradoxical constructions are inspired by self-organizing emergent systems in nature, such as schools of fish. The artist's practice explores ways to juxtapose the man-made against the natural by creating installations that are simultaneously in harmony and in conflict with their environments. To make images like Tulle no. 12, Jackson first imagines the composition, then constructs large kinetic sculptures from colorful objects (like colorful smoke bombs), and finally photographs them, resulting in a still image. To learn more about what goes on behind Thomas Jackson's images, read our interview with him here

Julie Blackmon 

Focusing on the complexities of everyday life, Julie Blackmon explores the conflicting demands of parenthood. Her carefully orchestrated narratives walk a darkly humorous line between lightheartedness and the chaos of our modern lives. Bubble, for instance, brings forth childhood memories of warm summer days playing outside. But, it also brings a subtle reminder of our pandemic times — when examined more closely, anxiety lurks, as unsupervised toddlers eat apples inside a giant transparent bubble. Are they sheltered or trapped? You may learn more about Julie's practice here

Mark Klett

Mark Klett, 4-25 1, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches, edition of 50, $3500

With a career spanning over four decades, Mark Klett has advanced a new notion of landscape photography, one that reframes our idea of what “pictures of the land” can mean. His projects explore relationships between time, change and perception while exploring the language of photographic media as it evolves technologically. 
Around 1987, Klett started the saguaro portraits. He would find a cactus that interested him, like the one in 4-25 1, and make photographs of the entire plant from a similar distance — showing top, bottom, and arms. The series was originally given the name Desert Citizens.
As part of our video series photo-eye Conversations, photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly and Mark Klett did a virtual walk-through of Seeing Time: A Forty Year Retrospective, his recent online exhibition with the gallery. They also discussed the artist's prolific career and the making of his book. Watch this stimulating conversation on Vimeo.

Maggie Taylor

The Harbinger, by Maggie Taylor, combines old photos and illustrations, mainly representing a crow cawing on top of an uncanny flying device and a polar bear placidly swimming across an iceless sea. The resulting artwork is a surrealistic dreamscape that commands careful attention from the viewer.

Taylor's photomontages, a combinatinon of the historical and contemporary, consist of 19th century daguerreotypes, old illustrations, found photographs, and diverse objects and artifacts — all layered together through meticulous digital image editing. You may learn more about her work here.


Mitch Dobrowner

Mitch Dobrowner has been photographing dramatic landscapes since his late teens. Moreover, working with professional storm chasers since 2009, he has traveled throughout America to capture extreme natural events, making stunning images of supercell storms and tornados. By waiting for the light and atmosphere to paint the landscape to his liking — accented by his custom-modified camera and long hours in the digital darkroom — Dobrowner has developed an unmistakable poetic style in the tradition of photography masters such as Ansel Adams and Minor White. With his high contrast expansive photographs of severe weather systems and towering majestic mountain ranges like Sunrise Over Lone Pine — Mitch Dobrowner has perfected the craft of landscape photography.

This year, as part of photo-eye Conversations, Anne Kelly asked Dobrowner about his practice and most recent work. Watch this amazing conversation on Vimeo

Edward Bateman

This enigmatic and alluring print, Yosemite Gateway No. 1, was created by photographing a 3D model. Produced by Edward Bateman during the ongoing pandemic, and with limited possibility of travel, the artist crafted the work from his kitchen table, using geographical data and a 3D printer. 
Bateman's unique process yields captivating, abstract images depicting plastic filaments that explore the concept of the sublime through representations of the majestic landscapes of Yosemite National Park. To view this extraordinary series, check out the artist's current online exhibition Yosemite: Seeking Sublime.
As part of our video series photo-eye Conversations, Anne Kelly joined Edward Bateman in an online view of his fantastic exhibition. They discussed Edward's process in re-creating Yosemite among other things. Watch this great conversation on Vimeo.

Reuben Wu

Reuben Wu, RW4288, 2020, archival pigment ink, 15 x 20 inches, edition of 10, $1000
The incredible work of Reuben Wu blends a myriad of influences, from science fiction to 19th century romantic painting. In photographs such as RW4288, Reuben captured the sublimity of a total solar eclipse and — instead of using his signature drone lighting — for this image, Reuben embraced the available light to make yet another otherworldly and masterful photograph.

As part of photo l.a.'s Virtual Connect + Collect, we hosted a live conversation between Reuben Wu and publisher Kris Graves. We discussed the process behind the artist's work and the books they have collaborated on. Watch this amazing talk here

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All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.
For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202