Richard Misrach


Oct 14 – Nov 26, 2022
Exhibition Details:

Richard Misrach
Oct 14 – Nov 26, 2022


Quai des Bergues 15-17


Press Release (EN)
Press Release (FR)


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Above: Richard Misrach, Diving Board, Salton Sea, 1983, pigment print mounted to board © Richard Misrach

Pace Gallery is pleased to announce Richard Misrach: Isolation/Solitude, the American photographer’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland.

Surveying nearly four decades of the artist’s career, this exhibition showcases Misrach’s pioneering practice at the forefront of color photography. The artist has carefully selected works from several of his key series – including rare examples of his iconic Desert Cantos project – to meditate on man’s relationship to the land and the awe-inspiring, sometimes overwhelming, nature of the Western American territories. Marking the artist’s first solo exhibition in Europe in two decades, Richard Misrach: Isolation/Solitude coincides with Pace’s presentation at Paris Photo (10 – 13 November) and the launch of Misrach’s latest publication Notations, which takes place on November 11 at 3pm at the Paris Photo Radius Booth.

Conceived in the wake of the many global lockdowns and confinements, Richard Misrach: Isolation/Solitude meditates on the sometimes subtle difference between choice and imposition. Indeed, the most recent photographs in the exhibition come from Misrach’s own experience of COVID-19 in Hawaii earlier this year. While socially distanced, Misrach captured Hydrofoil Surfer #2, Hawaii (2022) and Being Photographed (The Covid Moment) [April 13, 2022 2:07pm] (2022) – two striking images of minute figures dominated by the wild majesty of nature.

An early champion of color photography, Richard Misrach is known for his powerful, expansive images that capture the magnitude of the American landscape, often through a socio-political lens. Characterised by their extraordinary sense of scale, his images present the natural world as a dominant, enveloping force. Misrach’s work is equally concerned with his chosen subject matter as he is with the medium and history of photography itself. Throughout his five decade career, Misrach has continually investigated the visual and technological capacities of cameras as well as processing and printing techniques. From early darkroom experiments to his recent digital exploration, the artist’s openness to the practice of making photographs has been central to the development of his distinct visual language, rich with tonality, color, form, and composition.

In works such as Untitled (July 20, 2013 4:17PM) (2013), Untitled (January 21, 2016 1:51pm) (2016), and Hydrofoil Surfer #2, Hawaii (2022) Misrach presents the joyfulness of solitude, capturing people at peace immersed in nature. The size of the photographs enfolds the viewer in the wild landscapes, allowing them to feel at once a part of the scene and a distant observer. Several of these images are captured from the same vantage point – a hotel balcony in Hawaii. Misrach is interested in the idea that these images come to him, not the other way around. Seen in the context of one another, the works explore the ever changing landscape, with the artist often titling them after the moment of their capture to underscore the fleeting, transitory quality of life.

Diving Board, Salton Sea (1983), an early classic work from Misrach’s epic visual poem, Desert Cantos, speaks to the devastating effect humankind has had on the natural resources of our planet. Despite the desolate scene, the image retains the artist’s singular aesthetic of engrossing, delicate colors and tones. In this way Misrach’s work utilises beauty as a means of engaging audiences with the reality of contemporary issues.

Richard Misrach portrait_photo by Myriam Misrach.jpg

About the Artist

Richard Misrach is considered one of the most influential photographers of his generation, instrumental in pioneering the use of color photography and large-scale format in the 1970s.

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