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About the Photographer
American, b. 1952
Trained as a geologist, Mark Klett established his artistic perspective on the Western American landscape as the chief photographer for the Rephotographic Survey Project (1977-79), which rephotographed scenes visited by the first photographic surveys of the West in the 1860s and 1870s. Nineteenth-century photographers found transcendence in the vastness of the American West; Looking Through the Snow Tunnel Above GoatLake, Sawtooth Range is a contemporary celebration of the region's grandeur with references to nineteenth century landscape photography, including Klett's inclusion of a figure in the scene to provide a sense of scale.
In 1878 Eadweard Muybridge climbed with his cumbersome wooden view camera to the top of California Street in San Francisco to make a 360-degree panorama of the city. In 1990 Mark Klett revisited the idea with Panorama of San Francisco. Klett's goal was to match Muybridge's photographs – something no longer possible in 1990 from the same spot because of the skyline created during the century spanning the two projects. These two carefully planned San Francisco panoramas, presented together in the accordion-fold book One City/Two Visions (1990), reveal the evolution of a city.
Mark Klett was born in 1952 and holds a BS in geology from St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York (1974), and an MFA in photography from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Program at the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York (1977). His documentary photographs reveal the diversity of the land of the Southwestern United States. His work has been shown in one-person exhibitions at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the Phoenix Art Museum. Klett lives in Arizona, where he teaches photography at Arizona State University, Tempe.