Exhibition Dates: October 10 – December 10, 2019
Transcendental Concord documents the spirit of Transcendentalism, the literary and philosophical movement that arose in the mid-19th century. While the circle of Transcendentalists in New England was wide, at its center was a core group that lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Bronson Alcott and daughter Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau lived within a few miles of each other for nearly 20 years, regularly meeting in each other’s homes and on the paths of Walden Woods to discuss their writings and beliefs.
In the course of a year and in every season North-Carolina based photographer Lisa McCarty photographed the sites where these Transcendentalists lived and wrote in Concord. McCarty’s parallel reverence for the natural world is evident in her photographs which point to large and small variations in environment, season and light. McCarty uses long exposures and camera movement in order to capture these variations. Transcendental Concord pays homage to Transcendentalism not only in capturing a shared landscape, but in McCarty’s technique: her keen observation of natural phenomena and openness to experimentation and chance.
Lisa McCarty is an artist, curator, and educator and was based in Durham, North Carolina. She has participated in over 70 exhibitions an screenings at venues such as the American University Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Chicago Photography Center, Fruitland Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, and the Visual Studies Workshop. McCarty’s photographs have also been featured in a variety of international festivals. Her first monograph, Transcendental Concord was published by Radius Books in 2018.
McCarty received an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. She has taught at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and was curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts. She now lives in Texas where she is teaching photography at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.