NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Directors of Marlborough Gallery are pleased to announce the opening of Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land, an exhibition of the recent photographic work of Diane Tuft. The exhibition will open on Wednesday, June 4 at Marlborough Gallery on 57th Street with an opening reception from 6–8 P.M. The work will be on view until July 5, 2014. The exhibition will comprise 27 photographs taken in Antarctica during Tuft’s six-week expedition in 2012, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. These images of Antarctica explore the immediate and gradual effects of the advance of climate change on the landscape and the depletion of the ozone layer.
Tuft’s photographs are able to capture the visual effects of ultraviolet and infrared light waves; they present a remote and ancient landscape through a technique that reveals what cannot be seen with the naked eye. The result is both a visual and scientific study of a terrain, a surface, an atmosphere. These works distill the transient and dynamic ecological forces that govern nature. Elizabeth Sussman, the Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art, writes, “Tuft’s work strives to give these phenomena, this reality, the power to self-reproduce, straddling a space, like the work of [Ansel] Adams before her, where the photographic process and aesthetic instinct meet the politics that come with documenting something that is at once new, objectively beautiful, unspoiled, and endangered.”
The abstracted, nebulous image, Ice Gyration, Lake Vanda (2012), was photographed on high-speed black and white infrared film, revealing the way infrared light waves that interact with the various gasses trapped in the ancient lakes of the dry valleys. Tuft’s black and white infrared images will be showcased in platinum print. Within the Ice, Lake Vanda (2012), a color pigment print, captures yet another aspect this lake, which is composed of discrete layers of water that do not mix due to the stark differences of temperature, salinity, and the gases embedded within it. The photograph conveys the subtle and violent atmospheric changes registered on the continent over millions of years.
The intense colors and blue shadows seen in places with an excess of ultraviolet led me to research the causes of ozone depletion, which allows more ultraviolet light to make its way to Earth’s surface. Similarly, the surreal black and white infrared images document infrared heat radiating from the surface of the landscape; climbing CO2 levels in recent years have caused an increase in heat emitted from the earth itself.
The name “Gondwana” refers to an ancient supercontinent comprised of present-day Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, South America, India, and Africa—the result of the separation of Pangea about 170 million years ago. As the artist writes, “The Antarctica I saw was a place that served as a real-life time capsule, a perfectly preserved record of hundreds of millions of years of biological and geological history.”
Diane Tuft was born in rural Connecticut and now lives and works in New York City. She earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut and continued her studies in art at the Pratt Institute in New York. Tuft’s work has been exhibited at venues across the country, including the Katonah Museum of Art in New York; the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah; and Art L.A. in Santa Monica, California. The artist’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City; the International Center of Photography in New York City; and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York.
A monograph, Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land, was published by Assouline (2014) and will be available at the time of the exhibition.