Monday, March 14, 2011

Lewis Baltz; The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California

West Wall, Unoccupied Industrial Structure, 20 Airway Drive, Costa Mesa.

Lewis Baltz's dispassionate eye neither suggests nor implies a hidden meaning in his photography. He documents fact through vigorous clarity and detail. His documentary collection, 'The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California' allows the viewer an insight into the changing topography of what was once a natural landscape unscarred by man. Lewis Baltz is an icon of "The New Topographics" a movement of photographers who sought to capture "a man altered landscape" in the seventies. These stark photographs isolate fact and do not seek to imitate.

South Wall, Mazda Motors, 2121 East Main Street, Irvine

Baltz believed in viewing the series as a collective whereby one single photograph did not have precedence over another. This reinforces the idea that the suburban typology was to be read as a whole, its physical reaction with landscape and vice verse. Baltz does not hint at the use of the building nor its habitation and labels all photographs. They are what they are.

East Wall, McGaw Laboratories, 1821 Langley, Costa Mesa

Baltz plays on stark contrasts, barren landscapes and strong geometric planes. Lighting plays an important role, most photographs are devoid of shadow. Reflective surfaces capture the horizon. The skyline blends into the plastered surfaces of the building and photographs are devoid of human occupation. The framed space although truthful in expression becomes almost surreal, devoid of human emotion, perhaps a pun on American suburbia?

East Wall, Western Carpet Mills, 1231 Warner, Tustin

South Wall, H&K Industries, 1611 South Boyd Street, Santa Ana

Posted By; Lisa Halton 140311

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