(American, b. 1958)
Understory Flareups, Fourth of July Creek, Valley Road Wildfire, Cluster County, Idaho, 2005.
72 x 92 inches (framed).
Gund Gallery Collection; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Gund ’63, 2015.2.30.
Laura McPhee seeks to understand the history and language of place through her large-scale color photography that juxtaposes historical idolization of the American landscape with the true harsh reality of twenty-first-century life. Time is integral to her work, seen in the photographed environmental changes, geological time, and the sustained nature of her projects. McPhee negotiates between past and present as she examines the problems in our contemporary perceptions of the utopian American landscape. She combines historical technology, an 8 x 10 view camera and tripod, with digital imaging, to present a world that is both serene and alarming.