Gary Metz: Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint
September 25 – December 15, 2017
Opening: Monday, Sept 25, 2017, 5-7 pm
Panel: Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017, 6:30pm
In the 1970s, the late photographer and educator Gary Metz generated a significant body of work that was very much in the spirit of the times. Metz’s “Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint” challenged the first 100 years of landscape photography, which had placed a major emphasis on depicting nature as sublime, heroic and unspoiled. Unlike previous photographers who glorified nature, Metz and his contemporaries wrenched photography out of the national parks and replaced the scenic with the vernacular of the American landscape.
A number of Metz’s colleagues received wide recognition for their similar investigations, culminating in the seminal 1975 exhibition, “The New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” at the Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House. Gary Metz never received the same level of acknowledgement. Now, more than 40 years later, his Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint is as powerful and relevant as ever, resonating with current interests in ecology and the everyday landscape.
On Wednesday, Oct 18 Loyola will host a panel discussion. Curators Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock and Joseph Lawton, NOMA Curator of Photographs Russell Lord, Loyola professor of art history Benjamin Benus, and Tulane photography professor AnnieLaurie Erickson, will discuss Gary Metz’s career as a photographer and educator, the tradition of American landscape photography, and intersections between the Metz show and NOMA’s concurrent exhibition “East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography” (Oct 5-Jan 7). A reception in the Diboll Gallery begins at 5:30 pm, and the Panel will follow at Miller, Rm 114, at 6:30 pm.
Gary Metz was a Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Director of Education at the International Center of Photography, and Head of the Photography Department at the Rhode Island School of Design. He received NEA Fellowships in Photography, 1972 and 1980, and is represented in various collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY.
Image: Gary Metz, untitled, from Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint