Art News

The Phoenix Art Museum Shows Jamey Stillings’ Photographs of the Hoover Dam Bridge

artwork: Jamey Stillings - "The Bridge at Hoover Dam" - Photographic print - Courtesy of and © the artist. On view at the Phoenix Art Museum "The Bridge at Hoover Dam: Photographs by Jamey Stillings" from August 13th until December 4th.

Phoenix, AZ.- The Phoenix Art Museum is pleaded to present “The Bridge at Hoover Dam: Photographs by Jamey Stillings”, on view at the museum from August 13th through December 4th. From the moment photographer Jamey Stillings first encountered the bridge at Hoover Dam he knew it was a subject he couldn’t ignore. Over the next two years, he visited the bridge 16 times documenting the progress and completion of the enormous structure that would eventually span the Colorado River. The resulting photo essay is the focus of The Bridge at Hoover Dam: Photographs by Jamey Stillings which features more than 40 large format color photographs chronicling the creation of North America’s longest single-span concrete arch bridge.

Officially named the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the bridge is located roughly 1500 feet downstream of Hoover dam and is the central portion of the Hoover Dam Bypass project. Construction began in 2004 and was completed in 2010. The 1,905 foot long bridge spans the Black Canyon connecting Arizona and Nevada nearly 900 feet above the Colorado River. It is the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge in the United States and the second highest bridge in the country. Photographing the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge was a personal quest for Stillings. Between March 2009 and January 2011, he spent 39 days at the site taking photographs. He visited the bridge at all hours of the day and night, rented helicopters for aerial shots and worked closely with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Federal Highway Administration for permission to access restricted areas.

artwork: Jamey Stillings - "The Bridge at Hoover Dam" - Photographic print - © the artist. On view at the Phoenix Art Museum from August 13th until December 4th

Stillings’s overarching goal was to acknowledge the collective talents and labors of those who had built the bridge and to place the bridge within the historical context of Hoover Dam and the American West. “Jamey recognized that the documentation of the creation of a structure greatly impacts how it is remembered in the annals of history and, for him, the story of the bridge was about the many people who made it possible: those who had envisioned the design, made plans for the construction, worked in the challenging desert environment and dedicated years to its completion,” commented Rebecca Senf, Norton Curator of Photography, Phoenix Art Museum. “His work offers a revealing portrait of the bridge by recording the construction for posterity and illuminating the structure’s impressive impact on the southwestern landscape.” Stillings’s large-scale, jewel-toned photographs sumptuously capture the bridge’s impressive scale and grandeur. Early morning and nighttime photographs are rich with saturated color, while daytime images juxtapose the manmade structure’s shapes, lines and patterns against the natural beauty of Black Canyon.

artwork: Jamey Stillings - "The Bridge at Hoover Dam" - Photographic print - © the artist. On view at the Phoenix Art Museum from August 13th until December 4th.

Since 1959, the Museum has served as the cornerstone of Phoenix’s art and cultural community, providing the people of Arizona with great art from around the world and amazing cultural experiences. Popular international exhibitions are shown along side the Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A vibrant destination for over fifty years, Phoenix Art Museum presents festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs that enlighten, entertain and stimulate. Visitors also enjoy PhxArtKids an interactive space for children, vibrant photography exhibitions through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, and the lushly landscaped Sculpture Garden. The Museum has nine curatorial departments: American, Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, Fashion, Modern, Contemporary, and Photography. The paintings and sculptures on view in the American collection reflect an interest in naturalism and the traditions of Europe, dating roughly from 1790 to the 1940s. Artists include John Singleton Copley, Fitz Henry Lane, George Inness, Eastman Johnson, William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri. The American West Collection includes over 900 paintings, sculptures and works on paper. The collection features paintings from 19th century local artists whose work was influenced by exploration and adventure. Some of the earliest paintings of the Arizona Territory are in the collection as well. Artists include: Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, Grant Speed, Ernest Blumenschein, Walter Ufer, Martin Ernest Hennings, Maynard Dixon, Georgia O’Keeffe, Bill Owen, and Chuck Forsman. Spanning three millennia, the comprehensive collection of Asian art features ancient tomb figures, rare imperial porcelain and delicate ink paintings from China, samurai armor from Japan, Chinese ceramics, cloisonné enamel, and Japanese prints and screens. From fine Old master paintings to 19th century sculpture and paintings, the Museum’s European collection features more than 1,200 works of art depicting the spectrum from religion to everyday life from the 14th to 19th centuries. Artists include: Marco Palmezzano, Astorga Master, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Il Guercino), Abraham Janssens, François Boucher, George Romney, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Jean-Antoine Houdon, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Auguste Rodin, Antoine-Jean Gros, Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, and Claude Monet.

The Latin American Collection includes over 400 works of art from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The collection highlights Spanish Colonial and early 20th century Mexican artworks that include religious paintings, colonial furniture, and decorative arts. Artists include: Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera, and many contemporary Latin American artists. The Fashion Collection is made up of more than 4,500 American and European garments, shoes and accessories. The Collection of Modern Art is made up of more than 2,400 paintings, sculpture and works on paper from the turn of the 20th century to 1950. The collection represents many of the pioneers of European and American modernism. Artists include: Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Joseph Stella, Arthur Dove, Oscar Bluemner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Hans Hoffman, Seymour Lipton, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, and Willem De Kooning. The Contemporary Collection – art created since the 1950s – is one of the most active and growing areas in the Museum. Displayed in the newly opened, 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2). Ellen and Howard C. Katz Wing for Modern Art, the collection includes large-scale photography, outdoor sculpture, and art created in a variety of surprising and unexpected materials, plus more “traditional” paintings on canvas. In several instances, works push the technical limitations of several media, including computer-controlled LED lighting and video, ceramics, mirrored glass, and even charred wood struck by lightning. Artists include: Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, Josiah McElheny, Julian Opie, Donald Judd, Michal Rovner, Yayoi Kusama, and Cornelia Parker. In 2006, Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson inaugurated a collaboration to mount rotating exhibits from the Center’s photography archives for Phoenix Art Museum visitors. The joint effort has built the Museum’s photographic expertise and simultaneously brought the Center’s world-renowned collections to new and larger audiences. Artists include: Ansel Adams, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, W. Eugene Smith, and Edward Weston. Visit the museum’s website at …