Dairyland Sign, Dusk, Provincetown, 1976
Signed, titled and dated on reverse
Chromogenic print, printed c. 1978
7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches
Joel Meyerowitz is one of the most highly regarded photographers of the second half of the twentieth century. Alongside William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, he drove the repositioning of colour photography from the margins to the mainstream. The recipient of two Guggenheim fellowships, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.
In the summer of 1976, Meyerowitz travelled to Cape Cod, Massachusetts with a vintage 8 x 10 inch Deardoff view camera. He was in search of something entirely new to photograph, trading the bustling streets of New York City for the expansive coastline and slow-paced towns of New England. Photographing over two summers at the Cape, Meyerowitz produced a body of work, Cape Light, that has become one of the most significant photo-series of the late twentieth century.
In the 1960s, Meyerowitz formulated what he called ‘field photographs’, seeking to capture a non-hierachical image in which everything in the image, including the colour, played an equal and vital role. Influenced by Mark Rothko’s colour field paintings, Meyerowitz sought this approach to achieve harmonious photographic compositions. The photographer employs this approach in Dairyland Sign, Dusk, Provincetown, in which he balances the composition, using the telegraph wires to lead the viewer through the image.
Photographing over two summers at the Cape, Meyerowitz produced a body of work, Cape Light, that has become one of the most significant photo-series of the late twentieth century.
A number of the works from the series capture the signage and artificial lighting of the New England towns where Meyerowitz photographed. He uses these devices to juxtapose the clear, natural light of the Cape. In this work, Meyerowitz heightens this effect, balancing the red and white signage with the textural pinky-red sky at dusk. It was this approach that made the series so revolutionary; colour photography had hitherto been relinquished to the realms of advertising and not been taken seriously as an art form. Cape Light harnessed colour photography’s expressive power and in this image, Meyerowitz nods to the established trope, including the advertising for Coca Cola.
This print is a rare vintage print in perfect condition.