Richard Misrach

[We will precede RM’s CV with our own recommendations. Start with MOMA’s online gallery of his works. If you’re ready to buy a book, Richard Misrach on Landscape and Meaning is a fun accessible account of artistic development, chock full of insights into the photographic art. Crimes and Splendors: The Desert Cantos of Richard Misrach, is a large format book with beautiful reproductions of a spectacular opus.

For five decades Richard Misrach has been one of the most significant and influential photographers of the American landscape. Along with major projects in Hawaii and Louisiana, he is best known for his monumental epic, Desert Cantos, a multifaceted study of our political, cultural and environmental relationship to the natural world.  Misrach has had one person exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the Centre Georges Pompidou amongst others and has been collected by museums worldwide.  There are over 25 monographs devoted to his work, including Crimes and Splendors: The Desert Cantos of Richard Misrach (The Museum of Fine arts, Houston, 1996); Chronologies (Fraenkel Gallery, 2005) and On the Beach (Aperture, 2007).

Recent projects mark departures from his work to date. In one series, he has experimented with new advances in digital capture and printing, foregrounding the negative as an end in itself and digitally creating images with astonishing detail and color spectrum.  In another, he built a powerful narrative out of images of graffiti produced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, made with a 4-megapixel pocket camera. In fall 2012, in collaboration with landscape architect Kate Orff, Misrach launched a major book and exhibition entitled Petrochemical America, which addresses the health and environmental issues associated with our dependency on oil. Misrach’s museum exhibit, Border Cantos, a collaboration with experimental composer Guillermo Galindo, traveled to the San Jose Museum of Art; Amon Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Pace Gallery, New York; Samek Art Museum; and the Missoula Art Museum. The exhibition and the accompanying publication – Border Cantos (Aperture, 2016) – explored complex issues surrounding the US-Mexico border through Misrach’s photographs of landscape and objects left behind by migrants, together with Galindo’s haunting musical instruments, sound installations, and scores.

In 2021 Misrach was commissioned to create artworks for the five stories of the new UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building in San Francisco. In 2023, Misrach collaborated with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, creating large-scale visuals to back the company’s heart-stirring choreography. In the spring of 2024 Misrach was commissioned by SFMoMA to design an elevated lounge experience for the 2024 SFMoMA Art Bash. This installation included large scale, photographs, AI manipulated imagery, an immersive video installation, and performances by Alonzo King LINES Ballet.. In May of 2024 PACE Seoul mounted a solo exhibition of Misrach’s work displaying a dynamic selection of his work from the past forty years. In June of 2024 Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles California,presented a solo exhibition of Large scale, photographs featuring the dancers from the Alonzo King LINES ballet .