press release

September's exhibition at the Rena Bransten Gallery will consist of new large-scale photographs by Doug Hall. Since the 1980's, Hall has used large-format photographs to show us how natural and constructed spaces can be manipulated to affect our experiences and perceptions. For this new work, he traveled from coast to coast in the US, to Europe, Asia, and South America, documenting landscapes and cityscapes that exemplified his point of view. The concept of the power of visual information to influence how we see ourselves in the world has intrigued artists internationally and has long been a leitmotiv in Hall's photography. His new images when seen together have a startling resonance.

Hall corrals overwhelming pictoral evidence in each image to prove his point - tourists dwarfed by the legs of the Eiffel Tower in Paris in one photograph perfectly mirror tourists surrounded by the loose helix of viewing levels in the Guggenheim Museum, New York in another. In both photographs, the diminutive public stands confined by architectural wonders designed and constructed to impress. In Mount Rushmore, viewers feel as if they have joined the tourists on the observation deck. The gigantic carved heads of presidents become symbols of human power that reduce the natural stone formation to billboard status. Hall's photos point out our human tendency to let no advertising opportunity go unexploited as well as the tendency to show the powerful human hand behind every great public endeavor.

Hall studied and holds degrees from the Rinehart School of Sculpture of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and Harvard University. He was a recipient of a National Endowmwnt for the arts fellowship in Media Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the Gilmore D. Clark & Michael Rapuano Rome Prize in Visual Arts, and a Flintridge Foundation Award for Visual Artists. He is a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been collected by many museums including Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Vienna, Austria, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY


Doug Hall - Photographs