July 13 - 26, 2020
Jim Krantz occupies a unique place in the history of contemporary art for his imagery blending western landscape photography with the figure of the cowboy as depicted and romanticized in American popular culture. The technical underpinning of his work was established when he studied with Ansel Adams and Paul Caponigro, but perhaps more importantly, Krantz’s work reflects a dictum that he learned from Adams: “Technical proficiency leads to artistic freedom." In Krantz’s Western series, there is an emotive resonance balancing the people and animals of the west with the vastness of the landscape.
Raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Krantz merged his passion for art with the practicalities of life, embarking on a commercial career photographing a range of subjects from portraits to agricultural equipment. He relocated to Chicago in 1999, establishing a reputation as someone who could shoot in the most arduous situations and return with the most dynamic and artful images. By the age of thirty he had become one of America’s most successful commercial photographers.
Now living in Los Angeles and with a relentless energy and disposition for experimentation, Krantz continues to work on commercial commissions as well as personal projects ranging from a two year study photographing the people and environment of the forbidden zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor to a studied examination of the emotional responses of the spectators at a Spanish bullfight. Yet, his focus and deep connection to the West remains a constant. As his forbearer Frederic Remington wrote, “I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever, but the more I considered the subject, the bigger the forever loomed. I began to record some facts around me and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded.”