Collaborative Photography Exhibit Opens Jan. 27 at U.Va.'s Ruffin Gallery

January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012 — The University of Virginia's Ruffin Gallery will exhibit "If There Be Such Space: Michael Lundgren and Aaron Rothman," a collaborative installation of photography, from Jan. 27 through Feb. 17.

Lundgrun and Rothman, photographers based at Arizona State University, have spent the past decade engaged in a common exploration of landscape, investigating complex connections between photography, perception and the natural landscape. They share ideas, experiences and experiments, yet have each created unique bodies of work that at times have a similar approach and process and at other times have diverged.

Lundgren's photographs express a visceral connection to the primal landscape. Rothman's photographs immerse the viewer in places that are both anonymous and highly specific. Occasionally, they discover they have each taken photographs from virtually the same vantage point in the landscape; these twin images reveal overlapping visions, but also very distinct sensibilities.

"Whether pushing the edges of photographic processes to create obviously altered images or creating images that are apparently clear windows onto the world, both Rothman and Lundgren are acutely aware of the gap between the photograph and the thing it pictures," said William Wylie, a photography professor in the College of Arts & Sciences and the exhibit curator.

"In their work, this gap becomes a potent metaphor for the limits and possibilities of our perceptions and capacity to understand our place as individuals within the space of the natural world."

Lundgrun is a faculty associate at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group shows in venues including Photo 21 in Tokyo and the "History of Photography" at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He has worked on collaborative projects for the city of Phoenix and on the "Third View" project documenting the American West. "Michael Lundgren: Transfigurations," a monograph of his work, was published in 2008 by Radius Books.

Rothman's work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Gitterman Gallery in New York, and the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, Tenn. He studied printmaking at Grinnell College, and received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University in 2003. He lives in Phoenix, Ariz. and is photo editor for Places [at] Design Observer, an online journal of landscape, architecture and urbanism.

Lundgren and Rothman will give an Artists Lecture on Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 153.

A Final Friday reception will be held Jan. 27, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Ruffin Hall.

— By Jane Ford