Mark Ruwedel

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Mark Ruwedel (born June 11, 1954)[1] is an American landscape photographer and educator. Ruwedel has written: "I am interested in revealing the narratives contained within the landscape, especially those places where the land reveals itself as being both an agent of change and the field of human endeavour."[2] He has made work depicting evidence of human presence in remote, barren and desert regions of North America, predominantly in black and white.

His books include Westward the Course of Empire, depicting the remains of abandoned railway lines in the landscape of the western United States and Canada; and Message from the Exterior, abandoned and decaying houses in desert communities around Los Angeles.

Ruwedel was Associate Professor at Concordia University, Montreal from 1984 to 2001 and has been Professor of Art at California State University, Long Beach since 2002. He is based in both California and coastal British Columbia.

In 2014 he was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Scotiabank Photography Award. In 2018 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. He has had solo exhibitions at the Chinati Foundation, Presentation House Gallery and Southern Alberta Art Gallery. His work is held in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, National Gallery of Art, National Gallery of Canada, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Life and work[edit]

Ruwedel was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.[1] He graduated with a BFA in Painting from Kutztown State College, Kutztown, Pennsylvania in 1978.[1] He gained a Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Québec in 1983.[1]

As of 2014 he was based in both California and coastal British Columbia.[3]

Photography[edit]

Ruwedel is a landscape photographer.[4] He photographs the "material residue or evidence of massive invisible forces at work on populations."[5] He has written: "I am interested in revealing the narratives contained within the landscape, especially those places where the land reveals itself as being both an agent of change and the field of human endeavour."[2] Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa has written of Ruwedel that "On the one hand, [he works] in series, which are repetitive, categorical and often open-ended engagements. On the other, [he works] from premises that can be enumerated by arbitrary data, like the number of palms in the titles of desert sites in California…"[6]

Ruwedel predominantly uses a Linhof[5] 4×5 large format view camera,[3] which records a lot of detail. Captions are an intrinsic element of his pictures.[7] He is influenced by the New Topographics photographers[3][5][8] ("survey of natural beauty permanently altered by human industry"),[9] particularly Lewis Baltz[3][5] and Robert Adams;[3][5][9] also by Walker Evans, Robert Smithson and 19th-century American and European expeditionary photography.[5]

Columbia River: the Hanford Stretch, published in 1993, is a series of black and white landscape photographs at the Hanford Site, a nuclear complex on the Columbia River whose reactors made plutonium for nuclear weapons.[7]

The Italian Navigator, published in 2001, is a series of black and white photographs of the sites of Cold War era nuclear weapons testing in the USA.[7]

From 1999 to the present, Ruwedel has documented the work of contemporary artists who have made land art.[7][9] He has also photographed evidence of human activity in the landscape that are thousands of years old.[7]

Crossing is a series of colour photographs that show traces of illegal immigration as evidenced by litter and other artefacts left near the Mexico–United States border.[6]

Westward the Course of Empire, published in 2008, is a series of black and white landscape photographs for which Ruwedel "walked and photographed along more than 130 abandoned railway lines that had once crossed hundreds of miles of desert and tunnelled through mountain ranges" in the western United States and Canada.[10] It was made between 1994 and 2006.[5][10] "The pictures followed the skeleton tracks across plains, through cuts blasted in the rock, into derelict tunnels and over the remains of wooden trestles that carried the rails across rivers and creeks."[2][9]

One Thousand Two Hundred Twelve Palms, published in 2010, is a series of photographs of all the places in the deserts of California named for a number of palms.[7] It was made over about one year and the total number of palms mentioned adds up to 1212.[6][7]

Message from the Exterior, published in 2015, is a series of black and white "portraits"[6] of abandoned and decaying houses in desert communities around the Los Angeles metropolitan area.[11] Made over the same ten-year period, Dog Houses, published in 2017, is a series of color photographs of doghouses found in those desert regions.[12]

Pictures of Hell is a series of black and white photographs of places in Canada and the USA, each with a name that includes mention of Hell or the Devil.[2] It was made over twenty years[13] and published in 2014.

Ruwedel's first work made outside North America is Ouarzazate, photographs of movie sets in Ouarzazate in the Moroccan desert, made in 2014 and 2016 and published in 2018.[14][15]

Teaching[edit]

Ruwedel was Associate Professor at Concordia University, Montreal for sixteen years from 1984 to 2001.[16][17] He has been Professor of Art at California State University, Long Beach since 2002.[16][18] He has also taught at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.[1]

Publications[edit]

  • Columbia River: the Hanford Stretch. Self-published, 1993. ISBN 9780969769705.
  • The Italian Navigator. Montreal: Art 45, 2001. ISBN 9780968838303. In English and French.
  • Written on the Land. North Vancouver: Presentation House Gallery, 2002. Curated and edited by Karen Love. ISBN 978-0920293560. With essays by Barry Lopez and Ann Thomas, and a foreword by Bill Jeffries. Exhibition catalogue. "photographs from his entire oeuvre."[19]
  • Westward the Course of Empire. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0300141344. With an essay by Jock Reynolds.
  • One Thousand Two Hundred Twelve Palms. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010. ISBN 9780894679780.
  • Pictures of Hell. Santa Monica, CA: RAM, 2014. Edited by Simon Baker and Sébastien Montabonel. ISBN 978-0970386038. With essays by Simon Baker and Chiara Siravo. Edition of 1000 copies.
  • Message from the Exterior. Göttingen: Steidl, 2015. ISBN 9783869308043. With an essay by Mark Haworth-Booth. The first part of the book contains photographs from Ruwedel's archive of "Desert Houses," the second part contains the series "Dusk," images of desert houses after sunset.[20]
    • London: Mack, 2016. ISBN 978-1910164464.
    • Special edition. London: Mack, 2016. Two hardback volumes. Edition of 150 copies.
  • Mark Ruwedel: Scotiabank Photography Award. Göttingen: Steidl, 2015. ISBN 978-3-86930-928-6.
  • Dog Houses. Santa Monica, CA: RAM, 2017. ISBN 978-0-9859958-9-8.
  • Ouarzazate. London: Mack, 2018. ISBN 978-1-912339-26-6.

Handmade artist's books[edit]

  • We All Loved Ruscha.
  • Nevada Nevada.

Exhibitions[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, Tate Modern, London, 2010[23]
  • Points of View, Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France, 2011[24]
  • Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2015. A prize of $50,000.[25]

Awards[edit]

Collections[edit]

Ruwedel's work is held in the following public collections:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Mark Ruwedel". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  2. ^ a b c d "Mark Ruwedel's pictures of hell". Financial Times. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e "An Interview with Mark Ruwedel". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  4. ^ Tate. "Mark Ruwedel born 1954". Tate. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g S, Leah; als. "Q&A: Mark Ruwedel on the Analog-Photo Advantage". Canadian Art. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  6. ^ a b c d "Interview - Mark Ruwedel". Paper Journal. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Conversations with Artists: Mark Ruwedel". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  8. ^ "Art review: Mark Ruwedel at Gallery Luisotti". 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  9. ^ a b c d Times, The New York (26 February 2009). "Art in Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-10 – via NYTimes.com.
  10. ^ a b Jobey, Liz (4 December 2008). "Liz Jobey looks at the work of US landscape photographer Mark Ruwedel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-08 – via www.theguardian.com.
  11. ^ Shinkle, Eugenie (13 January 2017). "Settings of a Life: Mark Ruwedel's Message from the Exterior". Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  12. ^ "RAM Publications - Mark Ruwedel". www.rampub.com. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  13. ^ Ollman, Leah. "Mark Ruwedel's photographs are hell on the eyes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  14. ^ Feuerhelm, Brad (5 January 2019). "Mark Ruwedel: Transcendental Plates; Ouarzazate". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  15. ^ "Ouarzazate Mark Ruwedel". Mack. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  16. ^ a b "Mark Ruwedel". Gallery Luisotti. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  17. ^ "Art Faculty Profiles: Mark Ruwedel". California State University, Long Beach. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  18. ^ "CSULB Professor Earns Prestigious Photography Awards". Long Beach Post. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  19. ^ a b "Mark Ruwedel: Written On The Land". The Polygon Gallery. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  20. ^ Ruwedel, Mark. Message from the Exterior. Steidl. ISBN 9783869308043 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "Mark Ruwedel". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  22. ^ "Special Exhibitions: Mark Ruwedel". Chinati Foundation. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  23. ^ Tate. "Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, exhibition guide, Surveillance". Tate. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  24. ^ "Arles photography festival 2011 – in pictures". The Guardian. 8 July 2011. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-08 – via www.theguardian.com.
  25. ^ Pett, Shaun (1 May 2015). "Toronto's Contact photography festival: 10 shows to see". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-08 – via www.theguardian.com.
  26. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation". Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  27. ^ "Mark Ruwedel wins 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  28. ^ "Mark Ruwedel wins $50,000 Scotiabank Photography Award". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  29. ^ "A photography show that rewards the act of slow looking". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  30. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (5 November 2018). "Guns and poses: Deutsche Börse photography prize shortlist revealed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-08 – via www.theguardian.com.
  31. ^ "Shortlist announced for the 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize". British Journal of Photography. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  32. ^ "Mark Ruwedel (American / Canadian, born 1954) (Getty Museum)". The J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  33. ^ "Re-SITE-ing the West: Contemporary Photographs from the Permanent Collection". Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  34. ^ "Search the Collection". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  35. ^ "Mark Ruwedel | Collection Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  36. ^ "Museum of Contemporary Photography". Museum of Contemporary Photography. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  37. ^ "Artist Info". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  38. ^ "Mark Ruwedel · SFMOMA". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  39. ^ "Vancouver Art Gallery". Vancouver Art Gallery. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  40. ^ "Vancouver Art Gallery acquires major artworks by Geoffrey Farmer, Reena Saini Kallat, Sonny Assu, Colleen Heslin and more". Galleries West. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 2019-02-09.