Confounding Expectations - Photography in Context: The Influence of The New West
Originally published in 1974, Robert Adams' book The New West signaled a significant shift in photographic representation of the American landscape. Adams documented the transformation of the Denver area, where he lived at the time, through construction of tract and mobile homes, subdivisions, and other forms of development.
Joshua Chuang, Marcia Brady Tucker Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery; Mark Klett, photographer; and Shane Coen, principal and founder of Coen + Partners, a nationally renowned landscape architecture practice, will discuss the impact of Adams' work as well as the effects of development and urban sprawl on the Western landscape. Moderator: Michelle Dunn Marsh, deputy director of the Aperture Foundation and co-publisher of Aperture magazine.
Presented by the Aperture Foundation in collaboration with the Photography Department of Parsons The New School for Design and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, with generous support from the Kettering Family Foundation and the Henry Nias Foundation. This program is made possible in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs- The New School
Joshua Chuang graduated from Yale SOM in 2005 and is currently Assistant to the Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, the oldest university museum in the U.S. Prior to coming to Yale, he worked as the production manager of the Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York City. Josh is also a practicing photographer with works represented in numerous public and private collections.
Shane Coen is the principal and founder of Coen + Partners, a nationally renowned landscape architecture practice with studios in Minneapolis and New York City. Shane's work is considered progressive yet timeless. Over the past fifteen years, Shane and his firm’s work has been recognized for these qualities, receiving over fifteen state/regional 9awards and eight national awards for design. His studio’s work is recognized by the AIA, the ASLA, the Committee on Urban Environment and the editorial staff of influential publications such as Metropolis Magazine, Dwell, Architecture, Architectural Record, and the New York Times who’s critic, Anne Raver, describes Shane’s work as ‘pushing Midwestern boundaries’.
In 2003 Shane and his firm received a Progressive Architecture Citation for the redesign of Mayo Woodlands, a new residential community in Rochester, Minnesota. This award, given for the radical reinterpretation of a standard subdivision plat, represents only the second time a landscape architect has received this honor in the prestigious competition’s fifty-year history. Most recently, Shane received the Special Award for Collaborative Work in 2006 from the American Institute of Architects Minnesota Chapter.
Well known for their innovative community design through projects such as Jackson Meadow and Mayo Woodlands, Coen + Partners is at the forefront of a national design movement creating communities that reflect the subtleties of a region’s natural and cultural history. Through an innovative approach developing simple and site responsive frameworks, Coen + Partners’ translates a site’s identity into community concept, including collaboratively developing architectural ideas with multiple award winning architects.
In addition to his practice, Shane lectures regularly including recent talks at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and in Chicago at the symposium ‘Sustainable Waterfronts: Learning from the Dutch Experience’ co-hosted by the AIA Chicago and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Shane will also be participating in the lecture series The Influence of The New West, Confounding Expectations: Photography in Context at the New School in New York on March 12th. Panelists will discuss the impact of Robert Adams’s body of work as well as the ongoing issues related to our not-so-delicate relationship with the western landscape.
Currently, Shane and his firm are collaborating with the Walker Art Center and the Carnegie Museum on ‘Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes’ a nationally traveling exhibit that opened in February 2008.
Mark Klett was born in 1952 and holds a BS in geology from St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York (1974), and an MFA in photography from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Program at the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York (1977). His documentary photographs reveal the diversity of the land of the Southwestern United States.
His work has been shown in one-person exhibitions at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the Phoenix Art Museum. Klett lives in Arizona, where he teaches photography at Arizona State University, Tempe.
Michelle Dunn Marsh
Michelle Dunn Marsh holds a B.A. from Bard College and an M.S. in publishing from Pace University. She has worked with the Aperture Foundation since 1996, and presently serves as associate publisher for Aperture magazine and as the director of Aperture West, a regional outreach program.
In this capacity she has worked with the Aperture staff and board of trustees as well as institutions throughout the west to develop educational programming, collaborative initiatives, expand awareness of Aperture and support individuals and institutions promoting photography.
An educator and advocate for photography and design, Dunn lectures nationally on photography and on art book design. She is an award-winning book designer and works with museums and non-profit institutions nationally.
She serves on the advisory board to the Masters in Publishing program at Pace University in NYC, and on the Board of Governors for Bard College.