Published by Radius Books. Text by Christian Widmer.
Michael Lundgren draws on a deep current in photographic tradition that takes the natural world as a point of transcendence. Lundgren works collaboratively with artists, scientists and writers on historically and socially engaged bodies of work, but his true passion is the poetic potential of the medium. His first monograph, Transfigurations (Radius Books, 2008), sought to redefine the value of the primitive landscape. Lundgren’s new series, Matter, is a collection of images taken over a period of seven years, evoking an element of the supernatural in the deserts of North America. Carrying a mythological visual trope throughout, the works are photographs of the earth, but not the earth we know. The artist implies that one way to see the intellectual, emotional and spiritual importance of a place is to see it as not our own. These photographs move beyond the transcendent experience of wilderness into evidence of an occupied planet now forgotten.
Published by Radius Books. Essay by Rebecca Solnit. Afterword by William Jenkins.
Historically, landscape photography was used as a means of documenting geographic and scientific exploration. Later it transitioned into a way to record nature and the spectacle of human progress. Rarely has it been employed more abstractly to convey an atavistic or ecstatic experience as it is in the new work of Michael Lundgren. This volume collects the Phoenix-based photographer's images of the Sonoran desert, which he has been shooting since 2003. Using the desert's constant flux to his advantage, Lundgren records the shifting effects of light and atmosphere to create stunning black-and-white images. These photographs express a lust for the primitive, and they reinvigorate the realm of landscape photography with notions of the sublime. Lundgren elaborates in his statement, "The landscape is only discernible because of the presence of what is fundamentally absent. Myth and metaphor remain unfixed, open." This volume includes a text by the acclaimed critic, historian and best-selling author, Rebecca Solnit, as well as an afterword by the noted scholar and professor William Jenkins, who curated the influential 1975 New Topographics exhibition.