Contemporary American photographer, Richard Misrach (b. 1949), captures scenes that show man’s fragility as well as man’s power to impact the natural world. His series On the Beach, focuses on this delicate balance between man and sea. Snapping pictures of sunbathers from his Hawaiian hotel room balcony, many of his images are detached references that appear idyllic while also causing the viewer some indefinable discomfort. This sense of impending dread is carefully planned in Misrach’s compositions - many images in the series were shot just after 9/11, and the title of the series comes from Nevil Shute’s 1957 novel about a nuclear holocaust. The book’s dark tone is reflected in Misrach’s photographs, and like Shute’s novel the images speak about humanity, life, and ultimately death.
These banners feature an untitled work from 2003 that highlights the play of light and form upon the vast sea. The banner is a slice of the ocean, a shining mass of turquoise shades of blue rich with ripples, waves, and sunlight. Two small female figures float on their backs in the midst of this. They are together yet separate, both from each other and from nature. Although immersed in the water, they do not seem a part of it, but rather intruders. Showing single human figures floating among the rippling sea, Misrach is able to create a sense of vastness and futility in which the human gesture is minute against the grandeur of the sea. Misrach also manages to express an ambiguity in this work, and a feeling of uncertainty as to the reality his figures. They may be relaxing in the water, or they may be floating out to sea unaware of the dangerous tide luring them out.
At the top of the image is blue and white text that reads “Richard Misrach/On the Beach”. The dates of the exhibition are in black “September 15 – November 25”. At the bottom of the banner is the name of the museum, “The Art Institute of Chicago”. The other side of the banner is brick red with white and yellow text that reads “American Perspectives/a yearlong celebration of American artistic vision/Art Institute/Chicago Symphony/Poetry Foundation”.
These banners were displayed around Chicago from September 15 through November 25, 2007 to promote the exhibition, Richard Misrach: On the Beach. The exhibition then travels to the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Another banner from the exhibition featuring the same image and a different verso is also available.
Berkeley, California-based photographer Richard Misrach (b. 1949) has spent the past three decades making provocative works about man’s relationship to nature. His cultural landscape photography shows how humans interact with and change the natural landscape. His goal with his works has always been to inspire social change by showing the devastating hand of man in nature through gorgeous, richly-colored images of oil spills, mining sites, forest fires, tourist destinations, even test bombing locations.
Exhibition: Richard Misrach: On the Beach
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 30" x 98"
(76.2cm x 248.9cm)
Summary Capturing the beauty and grandeur of nature in juxtaposition with man's impact on the natural world, the photographs of Richard Misrach inspire reflection. Featured on banners from his recent exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago, his photograph of two bathers in the sea captures much more - joy, release, insecurity, impending doom - all the makings of a fine day at the beach! The image is featured on 22 banners perfect for anyone who needs a vacation.
Hanging your banner
Hanging your banner is easy – just put a few screws in the wall or ceiling and PRESTO, you’re ready to display your beautiful banner. To make it even easier, each BetterWall banner comes with a free hanging system that gives the impression that your banner is floating just an inch off the wall.
Your museum banner has one or more windslits, half-moon shaped cuts that allow the banner to withstand high wind without ripping. To prevent the windslits from curling so that they align with the rest of your banner, we will provide you with a packet of art putty to apply to the back of the windslits to keep them aligned with the rest of the banner. The putty is a non-damaging, easy-to-remove, reusable art putty that will not impact your banner or walls in any way. After some time of displaying your banner, you may find that you no longer need the putty, and it can be easily removed.
Caring for your banner
Your banner is a unique and durable piece of art. Having been displayed outside, it has weathered the elements and remained beautiful—so it can obviously take a lot of wear and tear! Slight scuffs, small smudges, or minor creases are not noticeable when the banner is hung, and are a part of the banner’s authentic appeal.
Storing your banner
When not on display, your banner can be rolled and stored in the tube provided. Always roll your banner from the bottom and place it in a cool place.