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Arches (and apertures)

May 1, 2024 to June 1, 2024


“Although he traveled to other basalt-rich regions, Terry Toedtemeier never found a place that rivaled his beloved home state of Oregon. From the fresh young lava beds of the Owyhee country to the water-and wind-eroded rocks that make our coastline so dramatic to the myriad columns and crags of the Columbia River Gorge: this was his terrain. In an introduction to Basalt Exposures, a catalogue accompanying a 1995 exhibition, Toedtemeier wrote, “Although basalt formations are common worldwide, the ones found in the Pacific Northwest are particularly varied and widespread. Resistant to erosion, basalt stands out in the landscape, forming rugged lava flows, craggy hillsides, rimrock, cliffs, and headlands. Because of the great variety and rich geologic history of the Northwest, these places are home to sea caves, lava tubes, peculiar stone arches, pillars, chasms, knobs, craters, and many other compelling forms.”

In his photographs, Toedtemeier strived to convey the beauty and complexity of basalt features and the surrounding landscapes. He was particularly drawn to “peculiar” stone arches and to apertures: entrances to sea caves and lava tubes as well as free-standing examples, such as Catherine Creek, in the Columbia Gorge. He loved their sculptural qualities and the dramatic contrasts of light and dark as he focused on interior and exterior space. The pieces in this show draw from that body of work. All but one are gelatin silver prints, printed by Toedtemeier.

The show is timed to coincide with an exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Terry Toedtemeier: Photographer looks at the full range of Toedtemeier’s work, from the 1970s until the 2000s.”

— Prudence Roberts