Four Corners

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In 1989 photographer Debra Bloomfield got into her car and headed east from California. Near Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona she began photographing, feeling somehow a part of the landscape through which she traveled. For the next ten years, she would sojourn in the desert and mountain regions of the Southwest three or four times a year, expanding her horizons topographically and spiritually, capturing with her camera a juxtaposition of vast spaces and lonely intimacy inherent in ...

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Overview

In 1989 photographer Debra Bloomfield got into her car and headed east from California. Near Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona she began photographing, feeling somehow a part of the landscape through which she traveled. For the next ten years, she would sojourn in the desert and mountain regions of the Southwest three or four times a year, expanding her horizons topographically and spiritually, capturing with her camera a juxtaposition of vast spaces and lonely intimacy inherent in the terrain that surrounded her.

In 1997 she found herself in Las Trampas, New Mexico, and discovered through its church and others like it in the northern areas of the state that interior spaces can evoke the same kinds of meanings for her as landscapes do. In both, she felt a sense of place and history, of hope and transformation. At once ethereal and haunting, her images are also transcendent, suggesting a balance between spiritual and secular.

"Debra Bloomfield's Four Corners photographs capture the unique intersection of earth and sky and Spanish and Native American cultures that exists in the American Southwest. In these soulful works, nature and humanity seem to be of one piece, or perhaps more accurately, of one dream. Simultaneously harsh and serene, Bloomfield's images of mesas and saints are imbued with a powerful spirituality that, as anyone who has been to this remarkable region can attest, is as real as it is compelling."—Lawrence Rinder, curator of contemporary art, Whitney Museum of American Art

"In Debra Bloomfield's southwestern landscape photographs, color and light glow with a luminosity reminiscent of a Rothko painting. Her images, which transcend the visible, reflect the eternalspirit and energy found in these sacred places."—Judith Golden, professor emerita, photography, University of Arizona, Tucson.

"Bloomfield captures the timeless quintessence of life and universality of place. Her color interpretations are both literal and poetic not unlike the inventive spirit within the art of Georgia O'Keeffe. The photographs here sustain their own unique presence through subject, color, light, and space."—Steve Yates, Senior Fulbright Scholar and curator of photography, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe came to define the American Southwest in 20th-century art; it is hard to view that region's desolate vistas and burnt umber colors without imagining their work. Photographer Bloomfield (San Francisco Art Inst.) here maps a similar geographic territory in the intersection of four states-Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico-as well as the bordering Navajo reservation. Her photographs arrive like familiar postcards, well executed but banal: fiery sunsets, endless dirt roads, crosses against bleak desert landscapes, and devotional images from regional churches and homes. One refreshing aspect is the annotated image list with thumbprint versions of the book's generous full-page illustrations, along with Bloomfield's narrative explaining the photographs' genesis. We learn that the most haunting image-a pitch-black sky with a lone headlight beam illuminating a patch of empty highway-was the first picture taken by Bloomfield after the death of her sister. If only more of the photographs captured such potency. Not recommended for most general libraries; suitable for specialized or private collections.-Prudence Peiffer, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826332233
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 166
  • Product dimensions: 11.34 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Debra Bloomfield is a professional photographer living in Berkeley, California. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from San Francisco State University. In 1992 she received the James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    Award-Winning Art Book

    DEBRA BLOOMFIELD, photographer for the acclaimed book FOUR CORNERS, is the first-ever winner of a Wrangler Award for photography. The new category created by the Western Heritage Associations Wrangler Committee (formerly the Cowboy Hall of Fame) was acknowledged at a black-tie ceremony presentation at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on April 16, 2005. The Wranglers recognize the best in the west in the arts and literature, including western fiction, television, journalism, motion pictures and music. Former Wrangler winners include Louis Lamour, N. Scott Momaday, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood.

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