Linda Connor: Spiral Journey, Photographs 1967-1990

Linda Connor, Ceremony, Sri Lanka, 1979

About the Exhibition

The exhibition Linda Connor:  Spiral Journey, Photographs 1967-1990 is a mid-career retrospective of a photographer who has made an impact on contemporary American photography.  The exhibition will feature a collection of 110 silver gelatin prints (black-and-white photographs) made by Connor during the years 1967 to 1990 in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia.  An accompanying book Linda Connor:  Spiral Journey documenting the retrospective will be published in March 1990.  The book is the only representation of the photographer’s work as a whole, and the first major book since her 1979 monographs Solos.

Linda Connor has been knows as a landscape photographer, but she cannot be solely categorized in that genre.  Connor is a photographer of the land and its people, nature and culture.  Since 1967 she has traveled to distant and familiar places on six continents and a few islands– Nepal and India, the rocky countryside of Ireland, the Peruvian Andes, the high deserts and canyon country of the American southwest, and the volcanic terrain of Hawaii, to name a few.  Following her intuitions, her work has developed into an investigation of the visual forms of the sacred. 

Rebecca Solnit, author of the book introduction, wrote in a previous article on the photographer, “Seen as a whole… her work reveals a pilgrimage  toward a kink of spiritual home, a place of bare earth, religious architecture, cultures stretching back in time, of myths and sacred presence’s.”

Linda Connor’s images possess an animated force beyond that which is photographed.  Her work is not only about temporal situations; the images honor the subjects with uncritical attention, but they are most often timeless, symbolic, iconographic.  Although Connor’s photographs are not manipulated, they reach for a significance that goes beyond a photographic document.  Hence, there is no concrete singular meaning that the viewer must “get” upon viewing her images.  In fact as her work matures, the photographer finds new meanings for her photographs, new understandings of them.  The new ones do not cancel any other readings of these works; the meanings are merely compounded.

Born in New York in 1944, Linda Connor began her photographic education under Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design, and later under Aaron Siskind and Arthur Siegal at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology where she received her Master of Science degree in 1969.  Since then she has taught photography primarily at the San Francisco Art Institute and at many workshop and lecture centers throughout the United States.

Linda Connor has been the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grants in 1976 and 1978, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1979, the Friends of Photography Photographer of the Year Award in 1989 and the Charles Pratt Memorial Foundation Award in 1988.  She has been involved in numerous group exhibitions and many one-woman shows.  “Spiral Journey” was her first mid-career retrospective of her works.