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Ideas About Time flow through major retrospective of world-renowned Arizona artist

June 28, 2002

Location: ASU Art Museum, Nelson Fine Arts Center, corner Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe.
Date & Time: Mark Klett: Ideas about Time, will run Aug. 31 - Nov. 10, 2002. A free public reception is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Sept. 20.
Parking: Free parking is available in ASU Art Museum-marked spaces at the south end of Tempe Center, located at the NE corner of Mill Ave. and 10th St. Visitors using museum spaces must sign in at the front desk in the lobby of the Nelson Fine Arts Center. Free parking is also available on weekends and after 7 p.m. weeknights in Parking Structure #3 on Myrtle Avenue, Tempe.
Cost: Free

TEMPE, Ariz. - Mark Klett: Ideas About Time, a major retrospective of work by the Tempe-based photographer who has earned international acclaim, will open at the Arizona State University Art Museum on Aug. 31 and run through Nov. 10. A free public reception is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Sept. 20. The ambitious project will feature approximately 40 of Klett's works, selected from throughout his entire career.

Klett is known primarily as a photographer who specializes in works that focus on perceptions of the American West. Ideas About Time will follow the concept of time throughout the artist's work, from panoramas and sequential works, to photographs that will be exhibited for the first time, according to museum director Marilyn Zeitlin.

The idea of returning to a place to encapsulate change over time is central to Klett's work," Zeitlin said. "It is an elliptical commentary on ecological change, but also an observation on mutability."

Among the works in the exhibition are photographs from the Second View and Third View projects, in which the location and orientation of 19th century photographs of the western landscape were painstakingly recreated in the 1970s and again in the 1990s. The photographic series uses as its basis images that Klett - one of America's foremost landscape photographers - describes as "iconographic," and responsible for the "monumentalization of the West."

The series of images create a unique understanding of the relationship between people and place in the west, as the photographs form connections between the past and the present, illustrating the dynamic interaction of nature and culture.

Time is also an element in digital works that Klett made in Japan of the Kobe earthquake. These include images made shortly after the disaster and later ones, when Klett returned to see the ways in which people were rebuilding their lives.

Among the previously unseen works in this exhibition are more personal photos that also encapsulate the issue of time, including a series of self-portraits Klett took with his daughter on their shared birthdays. Other unseen images include images of detritus from the desert and a panorama of Navaho ponies pictographs.

Although the theme of time is a strong thread throughout Klett's work, it has never before been explored in one of his solo exhibitions, which have included shows at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Cleveland Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography in Tucson and Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth.

Mark Klett: Ideas About Time is one of five ASU Art Museum exhibitions that are part of the museum's "Photo Fall," highlighting contemporary photography. 

The ASU Art Museum is a division of The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. It is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe. For more information, please call (480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online at

About the Image:
Mark Klett, "Viewing Thomas Moran at the Source, Artist's Point, Yellowstone", 8/3/2000. Pigmented ink jet print, 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Mark Klett, "Self-portrait with Saguaro, About My Same Age", 1999. Silver print, 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

High resolution, print quality digital images of Mark Klett's work are available
by contacting Jennifer Pringle at (480) 965-8795.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle