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Lewis Baltz

 

Lewis Baltz (born September 12, 1945 in Newport Beach, California) is a visual artist and well known photographer who became an icon of the New Topographic movement of the late 1970s.

Baltz graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1969 and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School. He received several scholarships and awards including a scholarship from the National Endowment For the Arts (1973, 1977), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1976), US-UK Bicentennial Exchange Fellowship (1980), and Charles Brett Memorial Award (1991). In 2002 Lewis Baltz became a Professor for Photography at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. Baltz is now living in Paris and Venice.

His entire work is focused on the counter-aesthetic of photography, searching beauty in desolation and destruction. Baltz images describe the architecture of the human landscape, offices, factories, and parking lots. His pictures are the reflection of control, power, and influenced by and over human beings. His minimalistic photographs in the trilogy Ronde de Nuit, Docile Bodies, and Politics of Bacteria, picture the void of the other, in 1974 he captured the anonymity and the relationships between inhabitation, settlement, and anonymity in The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California (1974).

He moved to Europe in the late 1980s and started to use large colored prints. Several books and articles featured his creations including Geschichten von Verlangen und Macht, with Slavica Perkovic. Scalo, Zurich and New York, 1986. Other photographics series, including Sites of Technology (1989-92), depict the clinical, pristine interiors of hi-tech industries and government research centres, principally in France and Japan.

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