Sean McFarland’s “Glass Mountains”
Unique. In his work, Sean McFarland (Artist in Residence ’11) explores history and the representation of landscape. He has exhibited at SFMOMA; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York; White Columns, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; and Aperture Foundation, New York. McFarland is the recipient of a 2017 SFMOMA SECA Art Award; 2005 Phelan Art Award in Photography; 2009 Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer; 2009 John Guttmann Photography Fellowship; and a 2011 Eureka Fellowship. His work is in the collections of the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; SFMOMA; Milwaukee Art Museum; Oakland Museum; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; and the Whitney Museum of American Art Library. He earned his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2004. He teaches art at San Francisco State University and is represented by Casemore Kirkeby Gallery, San Francisco.
–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts
Sean McFarland’s landscape photographs are equal parts theater and documentary. McFarland combines and layers images and mediums to create scenes that are at once convincing and impossible. Sometimes the photographs are taken from nature in such a way that the subject is not immediately recognizable, and other times McFarland creates the set in his studio. He works with various photographic processes, including Polaroid, cyanotypes, and photograms, in combination with digital manipulation; for other works, he uses impromptu filters, like chipped ballistics glass, to create abstract effects. McFarland sometimes creates graphite drawings based on his photographs, and includes the photograph’s borders in his re-renderings. He identifies most strongly with photographic experimenters James Casebere and Thomas Demand.
American, b. 1976, based in San Francisco, California