Title: Moss covered troll trees
Date: 2003 (negative); 2007 (print)
Dimensions: 17 3/4 x 22 1/2 inches (45.1 x 57.2 cm)
The Ames Family Collection of Contemporary Photography
Object Number: 2007.064.002
This photograph is a good example of the kind of images Justine Kurland became known for in the late 1990s. Referencing nineteenth-century landscapes by photographers like Timothy O’Sullivan and Carleton Watkins, Kurland populates her American wilderness with teenage girls climbing trees and paddling in swimming holes. Inspired by back-to-the-land communes and other utopian communities Kurland is attracted to the open road and the transcendentalist ideal of finding oneself in nature, projecting an idealism onto the landscape that reflects the kind of world she wants to exist. Her various bodies of work also tend to parallel her own life. As a graduate student at Yale she photographed runaway girls, and when she had her son she took photos of naked pregnant women in the landscape. In her use of available light reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelites, Kurland’s photographs are also clearly rooted in the history of painting. ("Staged, Performed, Manipulated," curated by Andrea Inselmann and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - June 7, 2015)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.