LANCASTER, PA.- The Demuth Museum
s new exhibition features the work of nationally renowned contemporary photographer and Lancaster native Victoria Sambunaris. The large-scale photographs on view, in her first solo exhibition in her hometown, are products of ten years worth of yearly journeys across America. On her trips across the vast landscape of America, Sambunaris is intrigued by national parks, mines and our countrys border with Mexico. Her focus on the American landscape began in Lancaster, where Sambunaris was preoccupied with how we as humans transform the American landscape by manipulating it and situating ourselves within it. These photographs, astounding in their physical scale, also make a point of illustrating the important effects humans have on these vast landscapes. This dichotomy is at the heart of her work and differentiates it from earlier landscape photographers such as Ansel Adams, Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson and other photographers of the American West.
As Sambunaris work became more focused on the American West, she began to gather and travel with reference materials, but looks to one book in particular, John McPhees Annals of the Former World, to describe the geology and history of the land she observes. Another geographer, Peirce Lewis, provides Sambunaris with further inspiration. Lewis justifies the study of our landscape as a way to understand ourselves, because its our unwitting autobiography reflecting our tastes, our values, our aspirations and even our fears. These very matters are encompassed, often in minute detail, in Sambunaris photographs, rendering them powerful in many ways.
Also on view is the Demuth Museums current exhibition, Becoming Modern: The Travel Drawings of Louis I. Kahn and Charles Demuth, featuring travel drawing of Louis I. Kahn, famed American architect, as well as Charles Demuth, renowned American Modernist painter. Both artists took advantage of opportunities to travel the world in the early twentieth century and gather experiences that would impact the development of their own unique styles which will be explored in over 30 drawings.