Two Land­scapes: England and Peru by Ed­ward Ran­ney at Photo-eye Gallery

Pasatiempo - - CONTENT -

A fas­ci­nat­ing ex­hi­bi­tion at Photo-eye Gallery of­fers a con­trast in blackand-white pho­to­graphs made in north­ern England and south­ern Peru. In both se­ries of straight­for­ward land­scape prints by Ed­ward Ran­ney, the images demon­strate an in­ci­sive knack for lo­cat­ing — for see­ing — un­usual scenes, a trained eye for com­po­si­tion, and the tech­ni­cal abil­ity to con­vey an in­tense level of de­tail. But the shots taken in the An­dean coastal desert of south­ern Peru edge the oth­ers in enigma.

Ran­ney fo­cused on the ge­o­glyphs that were made by the Nazca peo­ple more than two mil­len­nia ago. The vast land­forms have of­ten been pho­tographed from the sky, but the Santa Fe res­i­dent chose to en­counter them on the ground, as they were “drawn.” So th­ese are broad land­scapes, quizzi­cally al­tered for rea­sons — and by what means — we can­not know. The Peru pic­tures shown in this ex­hibit, cre­ated be­tween 1985 and 2009, are se­lected from his pho­to­graphic mono­graph, The Lines (Yale Univer­sity Art Gallery, 2014).

The other half of Two Land­scapes: England and Peru is com­posed of images Ran­ney made in 1980 and 1981. The North­ern Arts Coun­cil of Great Bri­tain pre­sented him with a grant to pho­to­graph through­out Cum­bria and to ex­hibit a se­lec­tion of what he cap­tured at a Carlisle, Cum­bria, venue. The sub­jects — among them the mon­u­men­tal Ro­man ar­ti­fact Hadrian’s Wall — def­i­nitely vary on the arid/lush spec­trum from the Nazca work, but they share grandeur and mys­tery.

“The English work has never been seen in Santa Fe and rep­re­sents a strong con­trast with the Peru­vian desert work — dif­fer­ent cul­tural tra­di­tions, of course, as well as the nat­u­ral land­scape, both equally in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing to work in,” Ran­ney said. “I like how they re­ver­ber­ate with each other and speak of how cul­tures in dif­fer­ent ar­eas ad­just to and live in dif­fer­ent phys­i­cal worlds. They each de­mand as well a spe­cific, flex­i­ble way of see­ing pho­to­graph­i­cally.”

Ran­ney uses a 5 x 7 view cam­era, shoot­ing film and mak­ing his own prints in the darkroom. He is the re­cip­i­ent of a Guggen­heim Me­mo­rial Fel­low­ship (1977) and Ful­bright Fel­low­ships (1964 and 1993), among other awards. When he chat­ted with Pasatiempo, Ran­ney was in Peru, where he co-cu­rated an ex­hi­bi­tion of works by the late Peru­vian pho­tog­ra­pher Martín Chambi at Museo de Arte de Lima; that show opened on Oct. 20.

He is back in town to at­tend the open­ing re­cep­tion and book sign­ing at Photo-eye (541 S. Guadalupe St.; 505-988-5152), at 5 p.m. on Fri­day, Oct. 30. The ex­hi­bi­tion con­tin­ues through Dec. 5. — Paul Wei­de­man

Ed­ward Ran­ney: Palpa Val­ley (de­tail), 2004, toned ge­latin-sil­ver print

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