Mark Ruwedel: Los Angeles

11 Dec 2020—19 Feb 2021
Mark Ruwedel’s new exhibition at Large Glass is a selection of photographs taken from his in-progress epic Los Angeles: Landscapes of Four Ecologies, a work funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship awarded in 2014. ‘When I say epic, I am thinking of a project that is almost too large and has porous boundaries, almost out of control,’ says Ruwedel of the work.

Spanning five years of image-making, the collected works look out over the coastal frontier as it drops away towards the glassy surface of the Pacific, and inward to empty vistas shorn bare by Californian flames. These gelatin silver prints, hand printed and mounted by the artist are imbued with – in Ruwedel’s words – a ‘tragic beauty’. In his repeated attention the rhythm of a landscape, Ruwedel’s work keeps pace with the cycles of the environment it records.

Known primarily as a Western landscape photographer, Ruwedel has acknowledged a varied range of artistic influences from 19th Century photographers Carleton Watkins and Timothy H. O’Sullivan, as well as Earthworks artists such as Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer, to the New Topographics photographers.

Though the spaces Ruwedel depicts may appear wild, they are all situated within the bounds of the megacity of Los Angeles: ‘Most “wild” spaces here exist either because the city is designed to include them, or, more likely, they have no commercial value — yet,’ Ruwedel has stated.

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