Reed Estabrook: American Roadside Monuments

Joseph Bellows Gallery is pleased to present Reed Estabrook: American Roadside Monuments. This solo exhibition of vintage gelatin silver prints will run thru November 27, 2021, in the gallery’s Atrium space.

“American Roadside Monuments is really about a Yankee kid’s encounter with the vastness of America and the American West. People of my generation would routinely travel across the country via automobile. I’d round-tripped it twice by the time I graduated college. But in 1971, in my first teaching job at the University of Illinois, I found myself on the prairie. I could look out my bedroom window and see the Panama Limited train headed south from Chicago to New Orleans. The tracks were six miles away: flat is an understatement.
Every summer, we would escape the tyranny of green by driving west, and these structures became dominant. They are literally “MONUMENTS,” often handmade, quintessentially American, linking one to the life and lives of that place, and standing dramatically against the blue of the sky. They embodied that wonderful shared experience of roaming and discovery.” – Reed Estabrook.

The show also features Estabrook’s hand-colored photographs, a process by which he extends his photographic exploration. These hybrid prints give life by both mechanical and manual techniques. They freely and comfortably inhabit the controversial territory between painting and photography, continuing the formal conversation these two media have been engaged in since photography’s inception.

About the Author

Reed Estabrook (American, b. Boston, 1944- ) studied with Harry Callahan at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 1969) and with Ken Josephson at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA, 1971). In 1974, he moved to the University of Northern Iowa to develop the photography program, and in 1983/84, he chaired the photography program at the Kansas City Art Institute. In 1984 he created a new degree program in photography at San Jose State University, initially developing the dual-track curriculum and most recently leading the transition to a fully realized digitally based program.

Estabrook has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including The Great West: Real/Ideal (1977), Mirrors and Windows: American Photography Since 1960, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1978; Attitudes, Photography in the 1970s (1978); and American Photography Today (1982). His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Fogg Art Museum, the J Paul Getty Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Reed Estabrook: American Roadside Monuments
October 23 – November 27, 2021
Joseph Bellows Gallery – La Jolla – CA 92037

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