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Oct 15, 2009
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lecture by photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper
New Mexico Museum of Art

Introduction by Kate Ware, Curator of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art

Thomas Joshua Cooper will discuss his epic project “An Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity,” which he has been working on since 1990. With an 1898 field camera, Cooper has traversed the extreme edges of the entire Atlantic Basin, photographing the points where land and sea meet, and the moments of human history which have transpired at those sites yet which remain hidden beneath the surface. His large-scale selenium and gold chloride-toned gelatin silver prints record the sublime beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, the body of water that has mediated the collision of Old and New Worlds. He has said of his artistic practice, “The pictures describe an encounter, exploration and experience with a recognizable but unidentifiable space that might accurately be called a ‘Terra Incognita.’”

Thomas Joshua Cooper was born in San Francisco in 1946. He attended Humboldt State University as an undergraduate and received his Master’s degree in Photography from the University of New Mexico in 1972. Today he lives in Glasgow, Scotland, where he teaches at the Glasgow School of Art. His photographs are included in numerous public collections on both sides of the ocean, including  Art Institute of Chicago; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Art Museum; The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Princeton University Art Museum; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate Gallery, London; University of New Mexico Art Museum; and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This lecture is made possible through the generosity of the Lannan Foundation. An exhibition of Thomas Joshua Cooper’s photographs will open at the Lannan Foundation, 313 Read Street, Santa Fe, on Friday, October 16, 5-7 p.m.

This lecture is one in a series presented in conjunction with Manmade. Other lectures are by professor David Krakauer (November 19) and artists Bill Gilbert and Victoria Sambunaris (December 3).

View the website: Manmade: Notions of Landscape from the Lannan Collection

Caption: Thomas Joshua Cooper, West—The Mid-North Atlantic Ocean, Punta de la Calera, The Island of La Gomera, The Canary Islands, Spain, 2002 (The West-most point of the Island, and, most likely, the last “Old World” landfall to be seen by Columbus and his men on their first voyage of discovery in search of “The New World”), selenium and gold chloride-toned gelatin silver print, 28 x 36 inches.

Lecture, Thursday, October 15, 6 p.m. St. Francis Auditorium, NM Museum of Art Free admission.

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