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If there are diverse kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing place, then we need to learn to value the different ways each of us sees a single place that is significant, but differently so, for each perspective.
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Nicholas Nixon: Boston views « Previous | |Next »
June 1, 2013

As noted at conversations Nicholas Nixon's early black-and-white photos of Boston cityscapes were included in the 1975 "New Topographics" exhibit at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. He photographed the city again from 2001 to '04, drawn in part by all the Big Dig construction.

NixonNbankBoston.jpg Nicholas Nixon, View of State Street Bank, Boston, 2002, Silver gelatin print

As in the '70s photos, he initially used an 8x10 view camera and prints without enlargement from the negative for rich detail. This time the buildings feel close up and tightly packed together in a way that suggests the snug density of the city. Nixon then switched to an 11x14 camera (again printing without enlargement) and a lower vantage point. Instead of looking out or down from 30 stories up, he's now eight or nine stories up and looking across and straight through.

NixonNArchSt.jpg Nicholas Nixon, View of Arch Street, Boston, 2008, gelatin-silver contact print

The pictorial space in these new photographs is completely changed. The frame is now packed with buildings, filled with the grids of windows and curtain walls and reflective glass. The ground on which the buildings stand is not visible in the images and the sky is totally contained by the buildings.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:01 PM |