Lewis Baltz


Lewis Baltz Biography


Lewis Baltz, born in Newport Beach, California, is one of the most influential photographers working today. His work is focused on searching for beauty in desolation and destruction. Baltz images describe the architecture of the human landscape, offices, factories, and parking lots. Baltz' pictures are the reflection of control, power, and influenced by and over human beings. He is best known as one of the icons of the 'New Topography' movement in photography of the late seventies. Presented together in the exhibition 'New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape' in 1975 (Rochester, NY), this group of young photographers brought a shift in landscape photography in showing the images of a world far removed from an heroic vision of America. This move was also illustrated by the subject matter of urban and suburban realities under change, as well as the photographers' commitment to a critical and ironic eye of contemporary American society. 

Baltz is currently based in Paris and Venice, and since 2002 he has been a professor of photography at the European Graduate School EGS. Baltz graduated from San Francisco Art Institute (1969) and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School (1971). He has received several awards and scholarships, including a scholarship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973, 1977), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1977), the US-UK Bicentennial Exchange Fellowship (1980), and the Charles Brett Memorial Award (1991). He has presented his work in numerous exhibitions around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among others. His work is in the collections of many institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Lewis Baltz writes for many reviews and regularly contributes to L'Architecture D'Aujourd'hui