Geoffrey James (photographer)

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Geoffrey James (1942, St. Asaph, Wales[1] ) is a Canadian photographer, living in Toronto. His black-and-white panoramic landscapes of the built landscape explore the relationship between human society and its surroundings.

Life and work[edit]

James began his working career as a journalist. He moved to Canada in 1966, working for Time magazine in Montreal. He moved into arts administration in 1975, working for the Canada Council in Ottawa. In the mid 1970s, he began to take photography more seriously and by 1982, when he left the Canada Council, he was exhibiting his photography regularly.[2]

There's a kind of truism now in art, that you know, all good art is political. I'm not sure that's true. I think my work deals with the real world and it deals sometimes with social problems but I've absolutely no delusions about the power of art to change peoples minds. I think the least effective way of effecting social change is to take photographs.[3]

Geoffrey James

James works in series and much of his photography is available as books.

  • La Campagna Romana, 1991
  • The Italian Garden, 1991
  • Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander, and Geoffrey James, 1997
  • Geoffrey James: Running Fence, 1999
  • Paris: Photographs by Geoffrey James, 2001
  • Geoffrey James; Parks and Walkways of Oshawa, 2001
  • Place, 2002
  • Geoffrey James: Past/Present/Future, 2003
  • Une Mort Très Digne: L'Histoire Du Cimetière Mont-Royal, 2003
  • Toronto, 2006
  • Utopia Dystopia, 2008
  • Geoffrey James: Field Notes, 2008

A retrospective of his work, Utopia/Dystopia: The Photographs of Geoffrey James was mounted by the National Gallery of Canada in 2008. Between 1987 and 2002, he used large-format and panoramic film cameras to record landscape that has felt the impact of human activity. The earlier work examined idealized landscapes of pleasure gardens followed by an exploration of asbestos mining sites and the US/Mexico border fence in southern California.[4][5]



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Geoffrey James". Meet the Artist. National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Geoffrey James". Canadian Photographic Portfolio Society. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Geoffrey James - Clip 5" (PDF). Meet the Artist. National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Kozinska, Dorota (2008). "Utopia/Dystopia: The Photographs of Geoffrey James". Vie Des Arts. 52 (212): 18–19. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Geoffrey James: The Landscape and the Camera". Canadian Art. Canadian Art Foundation. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

External links[edit]