Photography and New Mexico

$55.00 hardcover

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In New Mexico Light

Photographs by Douglas Kent Hall

Photographer, writer, award-winning filmmaker, and poet Douglas Kent Hall is one of the great documentarians of his generation. His photographs of mainstream and counterculture subjects include rock music icons, bodybuilders and prison inmates, cowboys and countercultural heroes. At center is his exploration of the modern American West and the heart that beats there—sometimes violently, often poetically. For over thirty years Hall has photographed and written about New Mexico's unique mix of places and people, a broad representation including ancient sites and Spanish churches, Indian ceremonial dances, portraits of artists and writers, viejos and vagabonds. This book presents 182 black-and-white images accompanied by Hall's insightful essay on the interplay of artistic process with the cultural and natural landscapes of New Mexico. In New Mexico Light is a celebration of New Mexico's contradictions and splendor through the photographs and words of a master observer.


In 2005 Douglas Kent Hall received both the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Gold Medal Career Award, Florence Biennale Internazionale Dell'Arte Contemporanea. Among his many published works are Frontier Spirit: Early Churches of the Southwest and Passing Through: Western Meditations. His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.


In New Mexico Light demonstrates Hall's command as a master geneticist and gatherer of visual DNA. For more than 30 years he has wandered the byways of New Mexico, creating soulful, black-and-white portraits of common folks and cowboys, hippies and healers, poets and politicians. Few subjects escape his keen observation or his insightful interpretation. . . . Most of the 182 carefully chosen images in this book are portraits, but Hall wisely sets off this signature work against an overlay of landscapes so the viewer can begin to place these colorful characters in their natural environments. One of the more fascinating, if fleeting, series involves images of passing motorists taken along a long, lonely stretch of highway. . . . Hall's photos span the state, but his richest veins touch on salt-of-the-earth folks from the Española Valley, where he lives. . . . Hall accompanies the images with some of the most lucid, engaging essays on the photographic process you'll ever read. He's a straight shooter all the way. . . . Sam Shepard, a close friend of Hall's, contributes the foreword. It's a testament to Hall's ambidextrous, left-brain/right-brain flexibility that he easily matches Shepard word for word.”


New Mexico Magazine

“An Academy-Award-winning documentary film-maker and accomplished writer/photographer, Hall boasts an exhibition history longer than the cascading shadows of his New Mexico landscapes. This enduring New Mexico resident has been capturing images of our uniquely American lifestyle since 1965. Uniquely translating our time in history, Hall embroiders his imagery with eloquent essays, drawing upon his Masters degree in creative writing. Accordingly, this photographer is also a poet, an author, and a veritable shaman of contemporary culture. With avid observation of humanity, Hall's photographs represent the inner truth and spirit that resides in peoples from various socio-cultural constructs throughout the Americas. Whether he is focused on the confined dwelling within a prison system, or indigenous elders from across the US, Hall elucidates American iconography by way of the camera and pen.”


Rio Grande Sun

In New Mexico Light is a retrospective of (Hall's) impressive, varied work. This retrospective reveals the breadth of his subjects, some of which depend on the special qualities the light possesses. Because he is a writer, he explains rather eloquently in the text the role of light in his work and the conditions under which he's captured some of the moments.”


Albuquerque Journal

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

10 x 12 in. 264 pages 180 duotones