Landscapes from the Middle of the World: Photographs 1972-1987 by Frank Gohlke

Frank Gohlke, Witchita Falls II Looking East, 1972

About the Exhibition

Landscapes from the Middle of the World, presented in the Museum’s East and West Galleries, is a traveling exhibition, originated by Denise Miller-Clark, Director of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, which will tour the country over a two year period.  A catalogue, co-published with the Friends of Photography in San Francisco, beautifully reproduces fifty of the ninety photographs in this exhibition.  Featured in Gohlke’s landscapes are middle world ruins, quintessential American buildings–gothic grain elevators, middle American homesteads, Texan and Midwestern buildings cleared away and resurrected by man and nature, landmarks; incredible spectacles–those “breath-taking” pictures of nature’s beauty and devastation with epic dimensions and commonplace wonder; anomalous elements within otherwise commonplace vistas; and memories of home in the Texas Panhandle.  Gohlke’s vision of form, clarity of formal structure, and precise description and documentation, photographed with passive neutrality but lending metaphoric interpretation, are held together by a balance and equivalence between this artist, subject matter, and medium.  His photographs are about what is in front of the lens; his photographic oeuvre what historian and critic Benjamin Lifson called in 1978, “the visual equivalent of a long, measured breath.”