Using landscape photography to reflect on broader notions of culture, the passage of time, and the construction of perception, photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe spent five years exploring the Grand Canyon for their most recent project, Reconstructing the View. The team’s landscape photographs are based on the practice of rephotography, in which they identify sites of historic photographs and make new photographs of those precise locations. Klett and Wolfe referenced a wealth of images of the canyon, ranging from historical photographs and drawings by William Bell and William Henry Holmes, to well-known artworks by Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, and from souvenir postcards to contemporary digital images drawn from Flickr. The pair then employed digital postproduction methods to bring the original images into dialogue with their own. The result is this stunning volume, illustrated with a wealth of full-color illustrations that attest to the role photographers—both anonymous and great—have played in picturing American places.
Rebecca Senf’s compelling essay traces the photographers’ process and methodology, conveying the complexity of their collaboration. Stephen J. Pyne provides a conceptual framework for understanding the history of the canyon, offering an overview of its discovery by Europeans and its subsequent treatment in writing, photography, and graphic arts.
Rebecca A. Senf is Norton Family Curator at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Stephen J. Pyne is Professor, Human Dimensions Faculty, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University. He is the author of How the Canyon Became Grand.
“An incredible work of art. . . . Whether Grand Canyon National Park is your favorite, or if you're intrigued by history, or simply appreciate the flexibility of modern media, Reconstructing The View is a wonderful book to return to time and again to see what you might have missed the previous times or simply to appreciate the genius that went into it.”—National Parks Traveler
"[Creates] an entirely new landscape, one in which a window into the past has been opened and time passing can be seen as only part of the story."—Slate
“[This] project is a large and time consuming undertaking, one that reveals something entirely new about the various vantage point of the canyon.”—Blend Image
“A stunning volume.”—Marilyn Dahl Shelf Awareness
“Perceived commonalities [give] way to all that was distinct, materially and conceptually, from past to present images of western American landscapes. In Reconstructing the View, then and now come together in a broader repertoire of digital collage and overlay. Like ace jigsaw puzzlers, Klett and Wolfe take on the challenge of the Grand Canyon's vastness and relatively homogeneous topography in this latest reconstruction.”—Photo-Eye
“One of the best Grand Canyon photography books to come along in recent years.”—Arizona Daily Sun
“Senf’s obvious fondness for the artists and their work only adds to the readability and clarity of her essay. . . . Recommended.”—L. M. Bliss, San Diego State University Choice
"Vexing, dreamy, beautiful, and provocative."—Jake Abrahamson Sierra Club
"An arresting visual interpretation of a visual icon."—Southwestern Historical Quarterly