Inside the Studio

Millee on Air/Plains and Mountains + Valleys

Artist Millee Tibbs gives us a closer look at two of her series: Air/Plains and Mountains + Valleys. Starting in 2010, she has been exploring and intervening upon the iconography of the American landscape with folds and creases on the surfaces of her work. Millee’s photographs were shown alongside works by Clay Mahn and Matthew Shelley at Art Market, San Francisco in April 2016.

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Air/Plains (August 3, 2013 "Solar Jet")
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Air/Plains (August 5, 2013 "Floating Dart") Version #2
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Air/Plains (August 2, 2013 "The Fly")

“I have always been drawn to the subtractive nature of photography. You start off with the world and then through a series of decisions (framing and timing) you choose your photograph.”

— Millee Tibbs

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Air/Plains (August 5, 2013 "Floating Dart")
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Air/Plains (August 6, 2013 "Silke")
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Air/Plains (August 10, 2013 "Conrad") Version #2
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Mountains + Valleys (Yosemite National Park #4)

“In 2010, I attended an artist residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was the first time I spent significant time in the American West and I found myself thoroughly seduced by the landscape. Ever since then, I attempt to bridge this seduction with a more informed response to the iconography of western landscape in my work.”

— Millee Tibbs

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Detail of Mountains + Valleys (Yosemite National Park #4)
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Mountains + Valleys (Yellowstone National Park #1)
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Mountains + Valleys (Death Valley #2)
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Detail of Mountains + Valleys (Death Valley #2)

“The world is big—photographs are small. When we photograph a landscape, we shrink it to fit onto the paper or into the screen. It also becomes metaphorically smaller—a souvenir that can be carried away.”

— Millee Tibbs

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Mountains + Valleys (Yosemite National Park #1)
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Mountains + Valleys (Monument Valley #1, Diptych)
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Mountains + Valleys (Arches, Diptych)
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Mountains +Valleys (Canyonlands National Park #1)

“So many of the iconic images of the West make the landscape seem uninhabited and desolate. Most of these places are anything but. I am usually surrounded by hundreds of tourists when I make these pictures. I am fascinated by the discrepancy between the decontextualized image and the experience that made it.”

— Millee Tibbs

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Mountains + Valleys (Death Valley #3)

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