Chronicling America in Pictures

Posted on February 15, 2014 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE

"South of Osh Kosh, WI," 2003 © David Graham/Courtesy of Gallery 339 
Photographer David Graham is often “tirelessly traveling the United States, [to capture] the colorful, sometimes surreal, and often bizarre, in the thoroughly American landscape,” as he states on his website. 

His current exhibition, “Thirty-Five / 35 Pictures,” at the 339 Gallery in Philadelphia features one photograph from each year for the past 35 years. “The challenge for an exhibition that tries to summarize David Graham’s work is the very scope and scale that make it so exceptional.

Where to begin? 
What to include? 
How to knit together this considerable photographic oeuvre in a coherent manner without resorting to an exhibition comprised of the best-known pictures? 

‘Thirty-Five Years / 35 Pictures’ does feature well-known images, but we imposed the one-picture-per-year strategy to both gain control over the work and to force decisions that we might not typically make. And so it has; given that it’s a single picture from each year, many classic pictures had to be let go in favor of others that have received less attention over time. 

Sad as we were to lose some images, this approach has brought forward several outstanding and under-appreciated ones; it has also yielded interesting new relationships among pictures that have never found themselves near each other (either in exhibitions or books). Ultimately, we’ve tried to at least hint at the depth and breadth of this exceptional chronicle of America.” – Courtesy Gallery 339. “Thirty-Five / 35 Pictures” opens Friday, January 17 with an artist’s reception from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and runs through March 15, 2014.