Selected works by Mitch Epstein

Mitch Epstein
BP Carson Refinery, California



178 x 234 cm

The works shown here are from a much larger project, American Power. Mitch Epstein takes ‘power’ in both its literal and figurative senses: the ability to get something done, the capacity to influence other people or events, political authority and control, energy produced by electrical, mechanical and nuclear means, and national strength. However, as wide as the definition of power is, American hegemony is such that Epstein’s clever title immediately focuses our minds on a country at the apex of military, economic and cultural might. In a general sense, Epstein concerns himself with the production, distribution and consumption of power in the United States.

Mitch Epstein
Chalmette Oil Refinery, New Orleans, Louisiana II



178 x 234 cm

What this means in visual terms is a close look at plants and factories, oil rigs, mines, wind turbines, petrol stations and other nodes, along with the effects our systems have on nature and society, both short and long term: the suburb, the inner city, recreation, pollution and disaster. Epstein’s gift is for the big picture; every image has a primary subject which strikes the eye, but closer scrutiny reveals all kinds of nuance. Behind the bluster of American power, Epstein seems to be saying, is great frailty.

Text by William A Ewing

Mitch Epstein's Biography

Mitch Epstein
Born in 1952, Holyoke, MA
Lives and works in New York, NY


Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne, France
Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson, Paris, France

Kunst Museum, Bonn, Germany

Brancolini Grimaldi, Rome, Italy

FOAM – Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY
Galerie Thomas Zander, Köln, Germany

Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY

Yancey Richardson, New York
PhotoEspana, Madrid, Spain
BrancoliniGrimaldi, Florence, Italy
Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA

Power House, Memphis, Tennessee

Onefront Gallery, New York, NY

Rose Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Brent Sikkema, New York, NY

Center for Documentary Studies, Durham, NC
Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, MA
Wooster Gardens, New York, NY

Gallery of Contemporary Photography, LA, CA

Tenri Gallery, New York, NY

Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, OH

Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA

Aperture, Burden Gallery, New York, NY

H.F. Manes Gallery, New York, NY

Light Gallery, New York, NY


Photography: Out of Focus, Saatchi Gallery, London

Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
Hyper Real: Art and America Around 1970, Ludwig Forum
New Documentary Forms, Tate Modern, London
Appropraited Landscapes, The Walther Collection, Ulm, Germany
Mannerism and Modernism: The Kasper Collection of Drawings and Photographs, New York

How Wine Became Modern: Design and Wine, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Ecoaesthetic: The Tragedy of Beauty, Exit Art, New York
Incognito: The Hidden Self Portrait, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, Princeton University Art Museum, Tate Modern
American Documents, FotoMuseum, Antwerp
Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980, Cincinnati Art Museum
Extended Family: Contemporary Connections, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Glitz & Grime: Photographs of Times Square, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discord between Nature and Society, Tuscon Museum of Art, Tuscon
Nudes, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo

When Color Was New, Julie Saul Gallery, New York
The Good Life, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Easy Rider, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Phillip-Lorca DiCorcia, Mitch Epstein, Stephen Shore
Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection,Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, International Center of Photography
Cities In Transition, United Technologies Corporation commission, Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, New York, NY
Shoot the Family, ICI Travelling Exhibition
Garry Winogrand and the American Street Photographers, Fotografie Museum Amsterdam
The Open Book,Hasselblad Center, Goteborg, Sweden
70s Color Photography, Kennedy Boesky Photographs, NYC
NY after NY, Musee de L’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
Visions from America, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Sense of Space, Noorderlicht, Groningen, The Netherlands
Overnight to Many Cities, 303 Gallery
Walkabout, New York Historical Society, NY
New York Now, Museum of the City of New York
Blind Spot #17, Mass College of Art
Eggleston and the Color Tradition, J. Paul Getty Museum, CA

Photography after Modernism:Extensions into Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
The Sound of One Hand, Apex Art C.P., NYC
In Country: Vietnam Revisited, Laurence Miller Gallery, NYC

India: A Celebration of Independence, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA
Blind Spot: Coming of Age, White Columns, NYC

Animal Attractions, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC
The Magic of Play, Grand Central Station, NYC
This Sporting Life" (traveling exhibition) 992-93, International Center of Photography, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

Romance of the Taj Mahal, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LA

Contemporary American Photography, Cultural Palace, Canton, China

Color Photographs: Recent Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

High Light: The Mountain in Photography from 1840 to the Present,International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Color as Form/History of Color Photography, travelling exhibtion

The New Color, International Center of Photography, New York, NY
New American Colour Photography, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK
Love is Blind, Castelli Graphics, New York, NY