On The BeachPhotographs by Richard Misrach
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Richard Misrach, one of today's contemporary masters, is renowned for his carefully considered, beautifully rendered epic works. On the Beach, a lavishly produced, oversized monograph, is the long-awaited publication of this spectacular series. Misrach hones in on our delicate relationship to the sea, using a gorgeous, slowly shifting color palette gleaned from changes in depth and tide; abstract patterns of waves and rippling water, and beaches both empty and cluttered. He carefully balances the minutiae of human gesture against the massive scale of the sea. In some images, a lone figure floats in a liquid field of brilliant turquoise—or in others, lies beached and partially buried. The details in the images are frequently ambiguous—are the figures relaxed or drained of life? Cavorting in the surf or panicking in the riptide? The balance is a fragile one between control and surrender to the elements. As Misrach says, the work is "suffused with a sense of the sublime, but it also begins to expose our vulnerability and fragility as human beings."
Richard Misrach (born in Los Angeles, 1949) is credited with helping pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation in the 1970s. He has exhibited extensively, and his work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship. Misrach is represented by Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Pace-MacGill Gallery, New York; and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. He lives in Berkeley, California.