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A Timely Vision PDN — Out West
The New Mexican

• Clark Exhibit - Review

Don Kirby's Bluegrass, Jackson Road, WA

By Denise Taylor
Globe Correspondent / September 10, 2009

Wheat and water at Clark

In 1991, Don Kirby happened to be driving across eastern Washington on Route 2, and he shot one photograph. Just one. But he did not forget the carefully seeded and plowed fields under the wide skies of this wheat country.

So he returned again and again with his camera. The black-and-white series that emerged from this ongoing project is stunning.

In almost surreal scenes that glow with unsettling intensity, the images in “Wheat Country’’ continually oppose two things: a painstakingly orderly and fragile human landscape beneath an unpredictable sky. The existential shake-up is intentional.

"My photographs use the forms found in the landscape to say something about human nature, to create photographs that express life, feelings, growth, movement, and emotion, everything that characterizes vital existence," he wrote in his artist's statement.

"Wheat Country" images are on display at Clark Gallery in Lincoln through Sept. 30.

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