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Display Cases in the Great Hall: Exhibition Archive

Roberto Sandoval

6 July to 13 September 2015

COWBOY COUNTRY: Photographs of Wyoming

Roberto Sandoval’s silver gelatin print photographs were shot over a ten year period, to reflect the ranching life of Wyoming cowboys.  Less populous than any other of the fifty states, Wyoming is a land of high plains and extensive cattle ranches, fringed with mountains.  With a wide and low horizon and high stone mesas among the features that Sandoval has captured in these black and white photographs, he documents the expansive West in the late twentieth century. Horses and cowboys, when seen, dominate the rolling landscape of open grazing and grassland, sparse treelines and rugged peaks that characterize this wild open range and give it a mythic quality.

Sandoval works in a darkroom first set up in 1904, printing his photographs as black and white silver gelatin prints, often varying the tonal values to achieve depths in the shadows. He photographs the natural landscapes of the American West and Southwest, focusing on Wyoming, where he and his wife have a working ranch in the high country, near a giant stone mesa, revered by Native Americans as a sacred place.

Born in West Texas, and raised in Los Angeles before coming to New York City to study ballet, Sandoval then studied at the School of Visual Arts before becoming staff photographer at The Hispanic Society of America.  With a focus on patterns and textures found in nature, and the use of traditional photographic printing methods, Roberto Sandoval echoes great Western photographer Ansel Adams in technique and subjects.

CASE ONE : Cumulus Clouds over the Pines; Resting Garden Tools; The Mesa, Western Wyoming
CASE TWO: Trees on the Way to the Highway; Coffee Break on the Ranch; Old Fashion Baling Machine

All works silver gelatin prints, Courtesy of the Artist
Curated by Lisa A. Banner

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