Greg Conniff has an eye for commonplace beauty. For over three decades, his critically acclaimed photographs have focused on neglected or overlooked places, from backyards and overgrown gardens to scrubby industrial lots and rural roadsides. Conniff works in the places where wildness rubs up against developed land, emerging in exuberant tangles of unmanaged life and growth. Noted for their extraordinary detail and rich, atmospheric quality, Conniff’s prints reflect a sensibility closely attuned to the large-format work of nineteenth-century photographers in the American West. Yet his quiet, pastoralist approach does not romanticize the landscape. Conniff’s work celebrates the stubborn survival of natural beauty on the edges of the built environment.
Conniff has concentrated on the landscapes of daily life with the conviction that these places and how they look are the soil into which we sink our roots as human beings and develop our sense of home. His black-and-white images point directly to the deep beauty of the ordinary world. They are part of his argument that the overlooked, the ephemeral, and what grows wild along the margins play insufficiently understood roles in our ideas of place and our understanding of who we are.
- 30 - will include photographs selected from thirty years of Conniff’s work, including silver gelatin and archival inket prints as well as his current exploration of the digital universe. A longtime Madisonian, Conniff plans to spend several hours in the gallery each Thursday afternoon for free-form conversation with visitors about the photographs and any ideas that might rise from them.
You can see a selection of Conniff's work on his tumblr site, Weeds.