Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum

Until June 6, the Phoenix Art Museum is exhibiting 120 of Ansel Adams’ photographs and related items from the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography.  Adams first photo album from a family vacation to Yosemite is presented in its entirety in a digitized version along with examples of his first snapshots.  The exhibit also displays his unique architectural views including some of his commissions.  Of special interest to this new resident were highlights from Adams’ work in the American Southwest ranging from pictures of New Mexico Indians, Canyon de Chelly, San Xavier del Bac, and the Grand Canyon.  Adams’ masterpiece Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico is presented with the negative and an alternative print.  His dodging tools on this work and his pictures of aspens were especially interesting to me.  The exhibit has several examples of Adams’ awe-inspiring views of the wilderness landscape from his project to photography Ameica’s National Parks.  In addition to displaying Adams’ work for Arizona Highways, the exhibit examines Adams attempts with color.  Although Adams never exhibited anything with color during his lifetime, perhaps he would today given the advances in color printing technology.  Finally, this exhibit shows videos of Adams teaching and displays his willingness to share his knowledge through workshops and instructional manuals.

Our quick walk around the museum was limited to the massive Contemporary collection.  We finished our afternoon with a walk through Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies.  This dark room with mirrors is filled with strings of LED lights that dim and fade between colors.  It is easy to become disoriented in this infinite space with no visual boundaries.  The Phoenix Art Museum is a local gem!

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