Lucas Foglia : Frontcountry
Sep 18 – Nov 1, 2014
In his first Robischon Gallery solo exhibition, artist Lucas Foglia presents “Frontcountry,” his latest series following the successful exhibitions of “A Natural Order” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver and other venues in Europe and the US. This previous series, “A Natural Order,” offered intimate views of select, rural, off-the-grid communities in the Southeastern U.S. These earlier Foglia portraits look into the lives of individuals who appear to reject the modern world while embracing a world far more natural. The artist’s manner and unique commitment allowed him entrance and a rare position within their isolated communes to capture glimpses of their lives through a non-judgmental lens.
With equal intent, the exhibited series, “Frontcountry,” was pursued and produced over a series of seven years. Between 2006 and 2013, the artist traveled throughout rural Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming – some of the least populated regions in the United States – where he was also welcomed to illuminate a true view of the land and those who reside there. Different in approach than with past subjects, the individuals of “Frontcountry,” while connected to the land, were not averse to incorporating aspects of contemporary society. Reflecting this fact, Foglia’s latest series, is a photographic account of people living in the midst of the industrial boom in mining and energy development that is transforming the modern American West. Some residents of these geographically spectacular regions still make their living on the land farming and ranching – some commercially, some simply living close to earth – while other pivotal parts of the landscape have been given over to massive extraction operations such as mining or oil and gas development. Foglia withholds his opinion within the compositions regarding what might be the best use of the land by presenting complex images such as a vast, snow-dusted excavation site in Open Pit, Newmont Mining Corporation, Carlin, Nevada which appears ordered and serene through his lens. Other images feature terrain drastically altered by man, bringing into focus the enormity of a pit mine as on par with the anticipated destruction of nature’s wrath shown in George Chasing Wildfires, Eureka, Nevada. These views stand in seemingly stark contrast to Moving Cattle to Spring Pasture, Boulder, Wyoming where a rancher in a pick-up moves his cattle up valley; cows lined on each side of the road, one plaintive creature quizzically inquiring toward the artist. “Frontcountry” makes clear the co-existence of diverse interests, yet invokes numerous questions about just what the land can ultimately sustain or if it is large enough for all to comfortably coexist. In an effort to find the long view, Foglia’s lens persistently locates the required amount of light in order to pursue both question and answer equally.
Lucas Foglia has an MFA from Yale University and a BA from Brown University. His photographs are in permanent museum collections in the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of Modern Art Library and the Newport Art Museum, among others. The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, his most recent honor was an Individual Photographer’s Fellowship from the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Foglia’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe including, London, Rotterdam, Paris and Belfast and will be seen in upcoming exhibitions in Flanders, Munich and other cities next year. Both of the artist’s photographic series, “A Natural Order” and “Frontcountry” have eponymous monographs that have been received with international critical acclaim.