Editorial : Recommendations
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Joshua Lutz
at Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Recommendation by Dewitt Cheng

Joshua Lutz, 'Untitled' (Airplane) from the series 'Meadowlands,' 2007, photograph, at Robert Koch Gallery.

The New Topographics photographers of the 1970s - Stephen Shore, Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams - walked a tightrope between critique of industrial development's effects on nature and wide-eyed fascination with that collision. New Yorker Joshua Lutz continues that examination with gorgeous and startling imagery that's presented in the antique style, with an 8x10 view camera (a la Ansel Adams), that is then digitally printed, in the modern style. His 2004-2007 "Meadowlands" series (which has been published as a book) finds scenes of incongruous beauty amid the otherwise unremarkable flatlands of marsh and fill that lies  between New York and New Jersey - it's required viewing for natives of the region. "Am*Dam (AmstarDam)" photos taken last year in northern Europe depict scenes of similar poignancy: epiphanies excavated from the banal. "Untitled, (Airplane)" is a telephoto shot of a rising jetliner, a highway, lighting poles, a railroad gate, and, filling half the frame, bamboo or mimosa leaves - all in perfect compositional balance. "Untitled (Delayed Cares)" depicts a motel of 1960s vintage framed by silhouetted trees at dusk, its neon marquee promising a good night's surcease. The yellow building in "Untitled (Liquor Store)" looks, but for the signage, like a nineteenth-century way station. Lutz's psychologically mysterious studies of people and their environments are equally beautiful and compelling.

Robert Koch Gallery

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