Wonder Ball | Richard Misrach


Richard Misrach
Born 1949, Los Angeles
Lives and works in Berkeley and Emeryville, California

Battleground Point #15, 1999 (printed 2001)
Chromogenic print
25 x 29 ⅛ inches (framed)
Edition 5 of 25
Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Retail value: $7,500

Richard Misrach explores the environmental, social, and political consequences of human intervention in the landscape. Since 1979, he has photographed the deserts of the American West as part of his ongoing series “Desert Cantos.” Battleground Point, the twenty-fourth installment in the series, features seemingly alien terrain where water, sand dunes, and sky coalesce. Misrach was commissioned by the Nature Conservancy to capture the rare presence of water at Battleground Point, an area in Carson Sink, Nevada, that floods every decade or so. The ancestral home of today’s Northern Paiute, Battleground Point is also where Timothy O’Sullivan (1840 – 1882) photographed expanding railroads and industry for a United States government geological survey from northeastern California to eastern Wyoming in 1867. Unique to the project, Battleground Point #15 (1999) records the movement of stars through the night sky; their celestial tracks mirror earthly pathways left by water runoff.    

Richard Misrach is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography, German Society of Photography (2002). Selected solo exhibitions of his work include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1983); The Art Institute of Chicago (2007); and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2008). His work is in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Jose Museum of Art. 

Misrach’s photographs were the focus of SJMA’s acclaimed exhibition Border Cantos: Richard Misrach | Guillermo Galindo earlier this year. Two photographs are also on view in the current exhibition Indestructible Wonder.

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