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Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes

May 28, 2016 - September 18, 2016


The Nasher Museum is pesenting Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes an exhibition in the Incubator, as part of  The Collection Galleries. Based in Wilson, North Carolina, Uzzle has photographed the American South for over five decades, capturing nuanced views in both black and white and color from the mountains to the coast. The 16 photographs selected for this show explore rural life in this region and how southerners have engaged with the landscape over time. This exhibition is part of a collaboration between the Nasher Museum, the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Each museum will present an exhibition of Uzzle's photography covering a broad range of subjects from the artist's extensive career, and each show will be on view during the summer of 2016.

One of America's most highly regarded photographers, Burk Uzzle began his career at age 17 as a staff photographer for The News & Observer in Raleigh. At 23, he became the youngest photographer ever hired by Life magazine.  In 1967 he joined the legendary photographic agency Magnum Photos and served two terms as its president.  While with Magnum, he shot his seminal images of Woodstock and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral.  Since 1984, Uzzle has been an independent artist. His photographs have been published and exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and are represented in many museum collections, including the Nasher's.


Wall text from the exhibition

Burk Uzzle has been an iconic figure in American photography for more than fifty years. He is best known for his original imagery celebrating the distinct culture of the United States, from its diverse people and places to its singular historical moments.
Born in 1938 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Uzzle began his career as a staff photographer for the Raleigh paper, the News & Observer. He later became the youngest photographer, at age twenty-three, ever hired by Life magazine. From 1967 - 1982 he was a member of Magnum Photos, the renowned international photography collective that supplies images to press and media around the world. During this time, Uzzle was mentored by Magnum co-founder and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, and developed a skilled documentarian eye and talent for composition. His images of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral (1968) and Woodstock (1969) soon came to be celebrated as poignant records of critical moments in United States' history. For more than three decades, Uzzle has been an independent photographer traveling throughout the United States and is currently based in Wilson, North Carolina.
Since the 1960s, Uzzle has consistently shifted his lens towards the American South. From the mountains to the coast, in both black and white and color, he continues to record the complexities of this region. Driving back roads with large-format and digital cameras, he captures rural and urban views that are simultaneously rare and oddly familiar. Avoiding the environmental focus of much contemporary landscape photography, Uzzle's interest lies not in humanity's slow destruction of nature, but rather in the relationships people share with the world around them, the many ways landscapes are inhabited, and how this contact changes over time. Such an awareness manifests itself in scenes from North Carolina to Florida to Alabama, as he discovers the various settings that make each state both distinct and of the same region. The photographs assembled here provide a close look at Uzzle's curiosity, humor, and profound sensitivity to what makes the South southern.
This exhibition is a collaboration between the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Each museum will have photographs by Burk Uzzle on view during summer 2016.
Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes is organized by Molly Boarati, assistant curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes is supported by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and by Parker & Otis.





(above: Installation views, Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes, May 28 - September 18, 2016. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Photos by Peter Paul Geoffrion.)

About the Nasher Museum

The museum organizes and presents leading-edge exhibitions that travel to institutions worldwide. The museum's growing permanent collection includes some of today's best contemporary art, with a rare focus on work by artists of African descent. Other major strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American (Pre-Columbian). The musuem's mission statement is:

"The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University promotes engagement with the visual arts among a broad community including Duke students, faculty, and staff, the greater Durham community, the Triangle region, and the national and international art community. The museum is dedicated to an innovative approach, and presents collections, exhibitions, publications, and programs that attain the highest level of artistic excellence, stimulate intellectual discourse, enrich individual lives, and generate new knowledge in the service of society. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the museum serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary approaches to embracing and understanding the visual arts."

The museum is located at 2001 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27705

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