New Topographics

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"New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape" was a groundbreaking exhibition of contemporary landscape photography held at the George Eastman House's International Museum of Photography (Rochester, New York) from October 1975 to February 1976. [1] The show, curated by William Jenkins, had a lasting impact on aesthetic and conceptual approaches to American landscape photography.[2] The New Topographics photographers, including Robert Adams,[3] Lewis Baltz,[4] Bernd and Hilla Becher, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, and Stephen Shore,[5] documented built and natural landscapes in America, often capturing the tension between natural scenery and the mundane structures of post-war America: parking lots, suburban homes, crumbling coal mines. The photographs, stark and documentary, are often devoid of human presence. Jenkins described the images as "neutral" in style, "reduced to an essentially topographic state, conveying substantial amounts of visual information but eschewing entirely the aspects of beauty, emotion, and opinion".[6]

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