Utopia/dystopia: Geoffrey James

Front Cover
National Gallery of Canada, 2008 - Photography - 176 pages
Geoffrey James has been making photographs since the early 1970s, when he began photographing gardens. His first body of garden photographs, black and white prints made with a modified Kodak panoramic camera, expressed classical notions of beauty, revealing the geometry and underlying structure of the formal garden as well as evoking a quiet passion for the great landscaping schemes and natural sanctuaries of the past.From the tranquility of the Roman Campagna to the desolate demarcations of the U.S./Mexican borders, James's photographs reverberate with a sense of history but are solidly rooted in the present. In a more recent series of photographs about the built environment of Toronto, James pays particular attention to the way that light carves out details of architecture and delineates texture, whether it be tarpaper, glass, wood or stone. Recognized as one of North America's most eloquent interpreter of landscapes, Geoffrey James has paid particular attention to the way in which nature and culture intersect. While not concerned with Romantic notions of "the ruin", James's photographs do suggest a fall from grace.

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About the author (2008)

Lori Pauli , assistant curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, is the author of Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky .

Geoffrey James has been a photographer since 1970. He has solo exhibitions around the world, and his work has appeared in many books, including, Running Fence, Toronto, and Place. He has received many awards, and in 2002 won both the Roloff Beny Award for photography and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize for lifetime achievement in the visual arts. Born in Wales and educated at Oxford, he lives in Toronto.

Stephen Bann is a Professor of Art History at the University of Bristol and the author of numerous books and articles including Parallel Lines: Printmakers, Painters and Photographers in Nineteenth-Century France .

Britt Salvesen , curator at the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography, is the author of Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work .

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