Like many who grew up during the spread of sprawl—with its predictable landscape of housing developments, interstate highways, and big-box construction—acclaimed photographer Jeff Brouws is intrigued by places that still show signs of the vernacular past. What began as cultural geography of Main Streets became a visual critique of the myth of upward mobility that created this car-centered, paved-over universe. Combining a minimal, bleak beauty with understated social commentary, these evocative color photographs seek a deeper meaning behind the cycle of construction, decay, decline and renewal. Approaching Nowhere is a meditation on the loss of place and texture in the contemporary American landscape. Brouws' luminous images elegantly capture the complex, surprising beauty and desolation of visual life in our time, as seen from the American road. The potency of the work reflects both Brouws' perceptive vision of the country's changing face and his concern for the shifting shape of its soul.
Jeff Brouws: Approaching Nowhere
September 6 — October 14, 2006