Artists on New Topographics, Part I: Mark Ruwedel

In honor of our re-staging of New Topographics, we’re doing something special: starting this Sunday and occurring every Sunday through mid-December (except Thanksgiving Weekend), we’ve invited a leading Los Angeles-based photographer to give a tour of the show and share his or her insight into the ways New Topographics opened up possibilities for new photographic engagement with the landscape.

Each Sunday will feature a different photographer. In anticipation of each tour, we’ll whet your appetite here on Unframed with an exclusive interview. First up: Mark Ruwedel. Mark has photographed the topography of the American West for nearly three decades, focusing on nature’s reclamation of the land over time. He has depicted relics of industrial expansion, like abandoned railways, as well as evidence of geological upheaval, such as the impact of prehistoric glaciers. His recent series Westward the Course of Empire surveys the deterioration of the once mighty railroad network forged across the nineteenth-century American landscape.

I recently spoke to Mark about LACMA’s restaging of this important exhibition, which was first seen in 1975 at the George Eastman House of Rochester, New York. The video here offers a sneak peek into Mark’s take on New Topographics, and how it continues to bear influence on photographic practice today, including his own.

More details on this Sunday’s tour can be found here, and you can get a glimpse of some of the future tours here.

Edward Robinson, Associate Curator, The Wallis Annenberg Photography Department

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