Richard Misrach, American, born 1949, Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana,
negative 1998, print 2012, Inkjet print, Commissioned with funds from the H. B.
and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen,
and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund
In 1998, the High commissioned California-based photographer Richard Misrach to create a body of work as part of the Museum’s Picturing the South series.
Misrach studied the ecological degradation of a passage of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This is an area where a number of petro-chemical industries are based and which is sometimes referred to as Cancer Alley. Like the Western landscapes for which Misrach is best known, these photographs challenge viewers with environmental and political concerns while seducing them with evocative and lyrically beautiful large scale prints. In focusing on the delicate state of the Mississippi River, Misrach’s work signals not just the environmental challenges facing the South but also the larger costs of our modern world at the dawn of the twenty first century.
To mark the culmination and publication of this body of work in 2012, more than a decade after the project was initiated, a group of twenty-one large scale prints are presented here. This is the first time that many of these important photographs have been shown to a broad public.
Born in Los Angeles in 1949, Misrach is internationally recognized for his large-scale color photography. His work is represented in more than 50 museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum and the High Museum of Art. He has exhibited internationally and was the subject of a mid-career traveling museum survey organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1996.
Misrach is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Koret Israel Prize. Most recently, he was the 2008 recipient of the Lucie Award for Achievement in Fine Art. He is represented in New York at Pace/MacGill Gallery, in San Francisco at Fraenkel Gallery and in Los Angeles by Marc Selwyn Fine Art.