Richard Misrach: On the Beach

Bay Area photographer Richard Misrach is best known for his decades-long Desert Cantos series, which deals with the vastness and scale of the American West. The environment is a political construct for him, something humans shape by their choices and policies. This new traveling show of 20 large-format color images, “On the Beach,” is coastal, not interior. People are tiny, as in all Misrach’s work, and they’re further reduced in number in these high-angle compositions through the judicious use of Photoshop. Shot from a high Hawaii hotel balcony, his frames are generally borderless, even binary: either sea or sand, either populated or not, blue or white. For most of us, going on vacation to a beach represents a zone of transition—we’re away from work, on the thin, shifting margin between one realm and another. There, as Misrach recently told The Dallas Morning News, “Sand marks land’s end. Perhaps it is the last foothold. But it, too, is precarious and deceptive.” Tonight Misrach will appear in person to give a lecture on the genus and purpose of his new collection, apparently prompted by 9/11, on view through January 18 with selections from his prior work. Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave. N.E., 543-2280, $10–$15. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 10. Continues through Jan. 18, 2008

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