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ODYSSEY: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF LINDA CONNOR

December 12th, 2009 – April 4th, 2010
Palm Springs Art Museum

Imagery and technique are intimately linked in Connor's work. The photographer has always gravitated towards images that reveal "the essence of something, the apparition of a form or idea, rather than a particular fact." A large-format view camera allows her to achieve remarkable clarity; frequently using long exposures, the images can also present time and movement. Her prints are created by direct contact of the 8x10-inch negative onto printing-out paper, the image exposed and developed in her garden using sunlight. She then tones the prints with gold chloride. The results are extremely rich in detail and have a warmth and delicacy seldom found in standard photographic printing.

This remarkable exhibition of 96 photographs features work Connor produced from 1978 to 2008. During this time, Connor has sought out locales and traditions that convey the essence of time, faith, and place. Photography enables her to connect these concepts metaphorically to her subject matter. India, Indonesia, Turkey, Cambodia, Egypt, Tibet, Hawaii and the American Southwest are among the places she has photographed. Included in the exhibition are some of Connor's best-known images from the past three decades, along with more recent work that has had little public exposure. Accompanying the exhibition is Odyssey: The Photographs of Linda Connor, a monograph published by Chronicle Books in 2008. The book (hardcover, $50.00) will be available in the Museum Store throughout the run of the exhibition.

"We are thrilled to showcase these outstanding photographs," said Daniell Cornell, Deputy Director for Art and Senior Curator for the Palm Springs Art Museum. "Her photographs will appeal to a wide spectrum of people, affording a highly individual look at a diversity of cultures and locales. The most captivating element of the exhibition, however, is the timeless sense that these images seem to evoke. By presenting the photographs in tightly edited sequences, Connor actively encourages viewers to make associations and discover metaphorical threads throughout the exhibition."

About the Exhibition
Connor was involved in many aspects of creating the exhibition, including image selection and sequencing. By grouping the prints and not describing them with individual labels, she intentionally seeks to dislodge the viewer's sense of such "facts" as linear time, concrete place, and document in favor of a greater and ultimately ineffable sense of power and truth inherent in the image. The Palm Springs Art Museum is the only West Coast venue for this traveling exhibition. As a special addition to the Palm Springs presentation, a new body of larger format work is included.

About the Artist
After studying with revered American photographers Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, Connor became a distinguished teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate students since 1969. Although her work has been widely exhibited and published, Odyssey is an especially comprehensive collection of work that spans thirty years of image making.

During the late 1990s Connor became the de facto artist in residence at the Lick Astronomical Observatory in San Jose, California. Here she explored a treasure trove of 19th/early 20th century glass negatives taken through what was, at the time, the world's largest telescope. She made prints using the sun printing process from some of those negatives, a number of which have been interwoven in her sequences to create a rich dialogue with her other images.

THE EXHIBITION TOUR IS ORGANIZED BY HAL FISCHER ASSOCIATES, SAN FRANCISCO.

THE PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM PRESENTATION IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY THE PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION COUNCIL, HELENE GALEN, MARILYN PEARL AND ALAN LOESBERG, AND DAVID KNAUS.