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Richard Benson: North South East West

September 8–October 22, 2011

32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY


Installation Views

Selected Works

NEW YORK, August 8, 2011 – Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present Richard Benson: North South East West, a selection of 30 multiple-impression inkjet prints taken by the artist on recent road trips throughout the United States, Bermuda, and eastern Canada (2005-2011). This marks Benson's second solo show at the gallery, and is planned in conjunction with the publication of his first monograph, Richard Benson: North South East West, produced by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and distributed to the trade by ARTBOOK | D.A.P. The book features 104 photographs and includes an introduction by Peter Galassi, MoMA's former Chief Curator of Photography, and a text by Benson on his printing techniques. The exhibition will be on view September 8 through October 22, 2011, with an opening reception and book signing with the artist on Thursday, September 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Benson's measured views of the American landscape record the country's history with a caring and inquisitive eye, while showcasing the descriptive powers of the photographic medium. Perfectly composed and visually stunning, the photographs on display invite viewers to contemplate the passage of time through weathered terrains and architectural surfaces, outmoded machinery, environmental development, and changes in season. Often employing oblique camera angles and rarely depicting people, they are unusually vibrant, yet utterly natural. As Peter Galassi observes in his introduction to Richard Benson: North South East West, "What matters is that the fine distinctions of Benson's photographs evoke the infinitely small variations and complexities of phenomenal reality. His pictures look the way the world feels."

A photographer for more than four decades and a pioneer of printing technology, Benson produces his photographs with a digital camera and an inkjet printer custom-configured to print a single image in three or more successive stages. This inventive method offers extreme control over the picture's tones and hues by literally deconstructing it into a series of layers that can be manipulated independently. The process yields vivid color photographs that capture the outside world with an extraordinary sense of pictorial clarity and precision.

Benson (b. 1943, Newport, RI) has been instrumental in revolutionizing the technologies and standards for photographic reproduction in ink through such noted publications as The Face of Lincoln (1979), The Work of Atget (4 volumes, 1981-85), Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company (1985), and over a dozen Lee Friedlander monographs (1970-1991). He is the co-author of Lay This Laurel with Lincoln Kirstein (1973) and A Maritime Album: 100 Photographs and Their Stories with John Szarkowski (1997), and has authored A Yale Album: The Third Century (2000), The Printed Picture (2008), and Richard Benson: North South East West (2011). He has also printed photographs for Walker Evans, Paul Strand, and other leading photographers.

Benson is the recipient of two publication grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (with Eakins Press); two Guggenheim Fellowships; the Rhode Island Governor's Medal for the Arts; and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. His work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; as well as numerous private collections. Benson became an adjunct professor at Yale University in 1979 and served as dean of the Yale University School of Art from 1996 to 2006. He retired from teaching in 2011 to devote himself to photography.

For more information about Richard Benson: North South East West or press requests, please contact Nicollette Eason at Pace/MacGill Gallery, 212.759.7999 or For general inquiries, please email

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