New York Photo Review
Volume 3 Issue 34 October 24 to 30, 2012

Empty Spaces
Bruce Haley
Ed Barnas
“Untitled” from the Esmeralda and Nye series. by Bruce Haley. Source:
Bruce Haley, “Untitled” from the Esmeralda and Nye series.

Bruce Haley, like O’Sullivan, achieved early recognition for his work as a conflict photographer, covering wars and their aftermath. Working in a variety of formats, he has explored topics as diverse as the Eastern European Roma and the decay of Soviet era industry. Recent work on display at Anastasia Gallery concentrates on the American West and the impact of mining on that landscape. These black & white photographs are richly detailed and sharp, exhibiting a full tonal scale. Though presented as archival pigment prints, they are not the result of digital stitching in PhotoShop but were born analog as 10-inch wide negatives on 2-1/4-inch film and needed only moderate enlargement.

Haley lays out his story in a simple sequence of a dozen panoramic prints. Beginning with a photograph dominated by the ash cone of an ancient eruption, all images are taken from a distance that emphasizes the wide-open space and the horizon. Their extreme 4:1 aspect ratio cuts off the foreground to downplay the featureless sky, emphasizing the sweep of the land and what has been placed on it.

“Untitled” from the Esmeralda and Nye series. by Bruce Haley. Source:
Bruce Haley, both “Untitled” from the Esmeralda and Nye series.

Oddly reminiscent of the crenelated walls of a Crusader castle and just as forlornly abandoned, the concrete footings of a stamping mill dominate one image. Despite the number of habitations, the photos are under populated. The images progress to show the remains of abandoned mining facilities: the sprawl of double-wide mobile homes and junked cars that remain after the ore has played out and people have moved on.

Raised in a rural environment, Haley wanders in the world’s margins, rural landscapes and wastelands¬¬––places of solitude. The West he shows us certainly lies in those marginal spaces, its mood of decay echoing his earlier Disfigured Landscapes and Soviet industry photos.

Bruce Haley

Anastasia Photo
166 Orchard St.
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 677 9725

Wednesday, September 12 to
Friday, October 26, 2012
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11 to 7

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