23 February 2009

Mark Ruwedel's Desolate Western Rails

I was very pleased to see photographer Mark Ruwedel's work highlighted over at The Morning News, a smart and pretty web mag. Ruwedel is a large-format photographer who spent 12 years traversing western North America's abandoned railway lines of the 19th and 20th centuries. There is a very nice gallery of large photos over at TMN, with a brief interview of Ruwedel by editor Rosencrans Baldwin.

The Yossi Milo Gallery in New York is hosting a solo exhibition of the project through March 7th, and the book Westward the Course of Empire was published last year.

There is also a sizable collection of photos at the Stephen Bulger Gallery, including some of Ruwedel's related project on abandoned western desert houses. If you've never lived in the western US, these photographs represent a more realistic impression of the landscape outside the cities than any others I've seen. Much has been written about the myth of "The West" as the land of sun, sand and new beginnings. Ruwedel's work, though, is more beautiful in its own desolate way: it speaks to the reality that remains when myths vanish.

(photo courtesy of TMN)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Beautiful. Another terrific photographer of abandoned things and places is Steve Fitch. -CB