Somewhere in between D.C. and Baltimore, there is a pond that is photographer John Gossage’s Walden. Between 1981 and 1985, the D.C.-based artist captured this humble little body of water in black and white pictures for a series he simply called The Pond. Gossage refuses to reveal the pond’s location, since he doesn’t consider this work “site-specific.” Instead, he hopes viewers consider The Pond as any location that evokes the collection’s larger themes of introspection, loneliness, and natural grace, which almost make it a pictorial version of a Leonard Cohen ballad.
A new American Art Museum exhibition marks the first time that all 53 prints in the collection have been publicly displayed together. It’s also the first time in more than two decades that Gossage has put on a show in his hometown. To coincide with the show, a catalog will be published this September and on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., the show’s curator, Toby Jurovics, will interview Gossage at the museum about the exhibit.
The exhibition itself opens tomorrow and runs through Jan. 17, 2011 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW. Free. (202) 633-7970.