Jeffrey Conley is one of the world’s most renowned contemporary landscape photographers. Whether in the United States, Iceland, New Zealand or the Engadine in Switzerland – his sublime images do not depict the landscape; they reveal nature, experienced as a spiritual place. After taking Paris Photo and Photo London by storm, Conley now has his first solo exhibition in Europe at Bildhalle Zurich.
Ansel Adams, one of the most important landscape photographers in the medium’s history, clearly indicated in his personal letters that since his experience of nature was fundamentally mystical, his most persistent artistic problem was how to convert that experience into physical evidence. Jeffrey Conley could as easily have made this observation as well. Aligned with the important tradition of landscape photography in the United States, he joins his great processor, for he, too, is an ambassador whose work embodies a plea to restore the mindfulness and respect of nature.
The meditative radiance of Conley’s photographs is a logical consequence of his focused and profoundly contemplative approach. His treatment of perspective, scale and lighting yields images of unparalleled simplicity and tranquillity. Conley is also brilliantly versed in printing techniques: whether silver gelatin, platinum or pigment prints on bamboo paper, the works are all produced by hand with meticulous care and in-depth expertise. The artist leaves nothing to chance, from the surface structure and quality of the paper to the coloring and hand-coating of the prints. His mastery can be fully appreciated only by looking at the original prints: a velvety surface and the rich gradation of blacks and greys recall drawings in pen and ink and yet, at the same time, they are an eloquent ode to classical photography.