Fieldwork was made from inside photographic tradition, using the vocabulary and grammar of the medium’s formal history. I used the serendipity of a walk to find meaning in the quietest seasons, when evidence of life is the hardest to find yet it persists, and is all the more hopeful in its tenacity. Above all, these pictures are about the beauty of mystery and the mystery of beauty.
Mary Abbe, Star Tribune - May 18, 2007
"In 19 monochrome photos of modest landscapes, Minneapolis photographer Beth Dow meditates on often-overlooked surroundings -- small heaps of worksite gravel that sprawl like a ridge of low hills, nets of dead vines engulfing scrubby river-bottom trees, a circle of immense stones punctuating a bucolic British landscape, an ancient willow with a broken limb, bare tree limbs scraping the sky. All of her photos are taken in what she calls "the precarious seasons of late fall and early spring, when everything hangs between life, death, and life again.
Printed on paper coated with a specially mixed platinum-palladium solution, the images are unusually luminous and detailed, yet still sketchy. Resembling delicate etchings, they seem truly drawn with light, which is the original meaning of the word "photo-graphy." By finding poetry in such humble, neglected and utilitarian vistas, Dow affirms the value and vitality of the ordinary."
Vince Aletti, The New Yorker - December 3, 2007
"This photographer's New York début is smartly understated—modest but memorable. Dow's images of woods and fields nod to the landscape tradition reaching from Eugène Atget to Robert Adams, and their quiet beauty is underlined by the richness of her platinum-palladium prints. Dealing with the overfamiliar subject of man's rude intrusion into the natural world, she's not always subtle—stacked logs and felled limbs abound—but she knows when to step back and allow an image to breathe. Her pictures of a lone tree in a row of stumps and a pile of smoking stubble under a sad gray sky aren't just taken; they're felt."