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Beth Dow From the English Garden Series C2003

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Size 29 x 38 cm
Lime Walk, 2003 from the English Garden Series.

Platinum-palladium print, printed 2004, signed in pencil recto and verso, copyright stamped with print details annotated in pencil on verso.


Beth Dow’s photographs are printed using the platinum-palladium process, invented in the late-nineteenth century, which yields a wide and subtle range of soft grey tones. Across the three separate photographic series represented here, Dow investigates how people shape the landscape around them, often as an appeal to beauty. In the process, the artist draws out unexpected tensions in the places she photographs—sometimes in a manner that challenges the seductive quality of her prints—and her work resonates with different moments in the history of photography.

In the series "In the Garden", Dow portrays the highly cultivated landscapes of European formal gardens. Dow has a particular interest in the dynamics of light and shadow, and shape and mass, but she considers photography a means to create her own path through the gardens, rather than simply a tool to depict them. She writes, “by positioning the lens, cropping my prints, and using burning and dodging to guide the viewer’s eye through a picture, I feel that I too am a gardener in a sense.”

Dow’s photographs have been exhibited throughout the Midwest, as well in New York, the United Kingdom, Japan and China. She has been the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship (2008), a McKnight Foundation Fellowship (2004), and a Greater London Arts grant (1989). Her work is represented in public collections such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Portland Art Museum.