Mariana Cook: Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries
The last protégé of Ansel Adams, Mariana Cook is best known for her intimate character studies of people both in and out of the public eye, published in her much-acclaimed collections: Fathers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Generations of Women, Couples, Faces of Science, and Mathematicians. Cook departs from her portrait work with Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries, a project conceived at her home on Martha’s Vineyard when fifty-six cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor. With that inspiration, Cook embarked on an eight-year journey, travelling from New England to Kentucky, Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, and Peru in pursuit of dry stone walls. Far from being a travelogue, these beautiful black-and-white photographs portray the wall in landscape, the wall as abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones and geometric composition, as well as with the resonance between walls of different cultures. With a tribute from Wendell Berry and essays providing a context for the walls of each region, the resulting collection captures something fundamental about the relationship of human beings to the land.
Mariana Cook was born in New York City in 1955. Her photographs are held in a number of national and international collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, the Vcitoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France among many others.
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