A review of At Home in the West: The Lure of Public Land
At Home in the West: The Lure of Public Land
William S. Sutton, with Toby Jurovics and Susan B. Moldenhauer,
200 pages, hardcover:
George F. Thompson Publishing, 2013.
In the essay that kicks off his beautiful black-and-white photography book, At Home in the West: The Lure of Public Land, William S. Sutton says he began taking pictures "to investigate notions about living in a place." Over the last 30 years, his rambling investigations have led him to public lands from the Nebraska Sandhills to the Pacific Coast. Sutton's images are not always the pristine nature-scapes we might imagine; he doesn't shy from documenting man's imprint on the land, from ancient stairsteps carved in rock to stacks of cut trees ready for the sawmill. He prompts readers to ask themselves: How can we use this land for the greatest good?
Sutton doesn't provide an easy answer, but his photographs remind us that we are not the first to ask. With additional essays by art curators Toby Jurovics and Susan B. Moldenhauer, At Home in the West offers a sweeping, timeless look at the land that shapes us.