Distributed January 11, 2002
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis



January 26 through March 10

Bell Gallery to host John Pfahl’s Extreme Horticulture

The David Winton Bell Gallery will host Extreme Horticulture, a collection of landscape photographs by John Pfahl, Jan. 26 through March 10, 2002, in the lobby of the List Art Center. In conjunction with the exhibit, Pfahl will present a slide lecture Friday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the List Auditorium.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Man’s cultivation of nature will be the focus of Extreme Horticulture, an exhibition of the recent work of landscape photographer John Pfahl, sponsored by the David Winton Bell Gallery.

In conjunction with the exhibit, which will be on display in the List Art Center lobby Jan. 26 through March 10, 2002, Pfahl will present a slide lecture and discuss his work on Friday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. in List Auditorium.

[Right: John Pfahl. “Fern Garden/Topiary, Lotusland, Montecito, CA, 2001,” from Extreme Horticulture. Ektacolor print, 20 x 24. David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University.]

The exhibit, a collection of photographs taken by Pfahl during the last three years in private and public gardens throughout the country, demonstrates his continued interest in nature and man’s effect on nature. His subjects range from the sublime – the beautiful “Birch Allee” at Stan Hywet Gardens in Akron, Ohio – to the ridiculous – the “Fifty-foot Inchworm,” an azalea topiary at Cypress Gardens, Fla. Extreme Horticulture also includes photographs taken at the J. Paul Getty Center, the Huntington Desert Garden and, closer to home, at Portsmouth’s Green Animals and the Elms in Newport.

[Right: John Pfahl. “Impatiens Isles with Egret, Epcot, Orlando, FL, 2001,” from Extreme Horticulture. Ektacolor print, 20 x 24. David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University.]

Pfahl established his reputation in the late 1970s with the creation of Altered Landscapes, a group of color photographs that combined natural landscapes with geometric shapes through a series of perceptual tricks. Since then he has created numerous works that have merged idealized landscape images with visual traces of human existence. In Power Places, his 1980s series, he presented exquisite landscapes in coexistence with power plants. The images were so neutral in attitude that they drew praise from both proponents and opponents of nuclear power. Continuing this theme, Extreme Horticulture illustrates nature at its most rigorously controlled in designed landscapes and manicured gardens throughout the United States.

The David Winton Bell Gallery is located in the List Art Center at 64 College St. It is open to the public 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call (401) 863-2932.

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