Until the nineteenth century, landscape was seen merely as a backdrop to a main subject, but with the rise of industrialization, natural settings became increasingly rare in urban life and, therefore, more valued and frequently represented. Plein air photographers recorded landscapes near and far, while Pictorialists, such as Edward Steichen and Imogen Cunningham, added emotional resonance to the scenery with their painterly style. During the twentieth century, the lenses of Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Minor White discovered lines, shades, and textures, and the landscape became a creation of rich tones and graphic compositions. Artists such as Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind went further and cropped nature into purely abstract images.
Landscape in Photographs accompanies the exhibition In Focus: Depth of Field, on view at the Getty Center from May 22 through October 27, 2012.
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
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