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Review: John Gossage at Stephen Daiter Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014

The Pond and A Little Romance

Through June 23, 2012

John Gossage's 1980's and 1990's images of the wilderness around an unnamed city is an underappreciated component of the "New Topographics" movement in photography. The title,The Pond sparks an unavoidable reference to Thoreau's Walden (pond). The simple and deliberate living Thoreau embraces is offset in Gossage's images that show traces of others who are doing the same, but without the same shining idealism. There is a heaviness to the simple habitations- boarded windows and sagging beams, dusty screens, cracked and patched pavement give a sense of apathy and abandonment that we see also in the landscape. Overgrown fields, unkept paths and gravel roads seem to prove the resilience of nature despite the human impact. As we travel the warn paths towards the pond we see fallen trees, bald patches of earth, an old seemingly abandoned factory in the distance. We also see strength to these all but neglected or weathered spaces- birds sing from power lines and in flight signify hope, the paths of man exist but are being erased by time, reclaimed by nature, the pond itself seems literally to swallow and purify factory and city filth.

Somehow through the weight of loneliness, the stillness of air, the sullen and empty planes and pathways there is a true dedication to place that redeems and proves a humble nobility in the neglected. There is a quiet mournful beauty, a sense of determination of place, people, and above all the natural world.

For more information on the exhibition please visit Stephen Daiter Gallery

NewCity Review

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