In 2003 Lannan Foundation acquired 15 photographs by New York-based photographer Victoria Sambunaris. Through her straight-on focus, detail, and uniform lighting, Sambunaris reduces her subject matter of everyday landscapes and common industrial parks into crisp clear images of forms in neutral space. Of her compositions featuring truck containers she says, “They’re stripped of luxury. The way they sit in the landscape is painterly beautiful to me, they’re like monuments—monuments to the road.”
Shot during two road trips west to Texas, Wyoming, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, on five 7” negatives, Sambunaris’ images capture at once the vastness of the American landscape with sometimes subtle, sometimes overwhelming, clues to its free-market mentality. Many of those with more subtle references to industry are reminiscent of great Dutch landscapes.
As a photographer Sambunaris states, “It is the anomalies of an ordinary landscape that have become the focus of my work: massive warehousing, infinite distribution facilities, and systematized shipping terminals. These numerous paradigmatic structures, I sense, portend the future of landscape and our relationship to it.”
Ms. Sambunaris has recently been commissioned to photograph the new Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts building in St. Louis. She currently teaches in the Yale School of Architecture.