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January 7, 2004

UCSD's University Art Gallery Presents
In Finite Spaces: Photographs By Doug Hall

By Patricia Quill

Exploring the role that the built environment plays in constructing our experiences of the world In Finite Spaces: Photographs by Doug Hall features thought-provoking images of public and interior spaces from Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The installation of fourteen large-scale color photographs will be on view at the UC San Diego’s University Art Gallery from Jan. 22 – Mar. 20, 2004. A reception for the artist on Friday, Jan. 30 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. will be immediately preceded by a lecture presented by the artist in Mandeville Recital Hall at 5:00 p.m.

Doug Hall, Wild Blue Yokohama, 2000. 48 in. x 60 3/4 in.

Based in San Francisco Doug Hall is one of the country’s leading practitioners of large-scale color photography. “For the past 25 years Hall has made perceptual art that questions what Michael Foucault has called “the order of things,” says Andy Grundberg in Doug Hall: Photographs. “Using media that forsakes the hand-crafted materiality of ‘high’ art —video, sound, electricity, photography and live performance—he describes a tightly organized authoritarian and largely impersonal world that undercuts the familiar liberative rhetoric of modern design stretching from the Bauhaus to Martha Stewart.”

Before turning to still photography as his primary medium some fifteen years ago, Hall was best known as a creator of visceral emotionally engrossing video installations. He now travels the globe capturing images of industrial and post-industrial society—images that address the tensions between traditional and highly industrialized societies—examining the ways in which particular spaces can define modern life.

“Doug Hall’s show continues a series of photographic exhibitions at the University Art Gallery which investigate human interaction with landscape throughout the world,” explains Gallery Director Kathleen Stoughton. “Formally and philosophically, Hall’s work shares affinities with the work of the leading photographic practitioners Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, as well as Edward Burtynsky and Stephane Couturier whose works were recently featured in the University Art Gallery.”

Hall operates within a lengthening continuum of artists, imagery and issues. In the thick of contemporary practice he, and his peers, share a passion for the rapidly evolving technology that allows for a new kind of photography exalting grand scale and crystalline realism.

Hall refers to the ‘hyper-literalness’ of photography that both anchors it to the world and gives it the potential to extend beyond it. It is this quality of hyper-literalness or even hyper-reality that immediately grabs one’s attention in his photographs. “Whether by virtue of size, perspective or remarkable detail, Hall’s pictures, when seen at arm’s length invariably engulf the viewer,” says Dr. Erik Neil, Director of the Newcomb Art Gallery where the exhibition originated. ‘His work deserves to be experienced.”

Doug Hall received his B.A. in 1966 from Harvard University where he studied Anthropology. In 1969 he received his M.F.A. from the Rinehart School of Sculpture of The Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. In that same year he moved to San Francisco where he formed the media art collective, T.R. Uthco (1970-79), in collaboration with Jody Procter and Diane Andrews Hall. The group produced numerous works during the 1970's. Notable among them is the videotape, The Eternal Frame, a reenactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy done in collaboration with Ant Farm, another San Francisco based media arts collective.

A professor at the San Francisco Art Institute where he has taught in the New Genres Department since 1981, Hall is represented by Feigen Contemporary, New York; Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco; and Galerie Micha Kapinos, Berlin. His work has been exhibited in museums in the United States and Europe and is included in numerous private and public collections including The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Contemporary Art Museum, Chicago; The Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Vienna; and The Whitney Museum, New York. The recipient of numerous awards, Hall was the 1995/96 recipient of The Gilmore D. Clarke & Michael Rapuano Rome Prize in Visual Arts from The American Academy in Rome, where he was in residence for a year.

Organized by the Newcomb Gallery at Tulane University In Finite Spaces is curated by Dr. Erik Neil, Director of the Newcomb Art Gallery and Professor Richard Tuttle of the Art Department at Tulane University. The exhibition is scheduled to travel the United States including exhibitions in Kansas City, Chicago and other venues.

A fully illustrated color catalog that includes a critical essay and interview is available.

UCSD’s University Art Gallery is located at the west end of Mandeville Center on the UCSD campus. In Finite Spaces will be on view from Jan. 22 – Mar. 20, 2004. Gallery hours: Tues.- Sat., 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Directions to the gallery can be found at

The opening reception for the artist will be held on Jan. 30, 2004 at 5:30 p.m., immediately preceded by a lecture presented by Doug Hall in the Mandeville Recital Hall at 5:00 p.m. Exhibition and lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information about In Finite Spaces or UCSD’s University Art Gallery, call (858)534 – 2107, email or visit us at

For more information about the work of Doug Hall, go to or

For more information about the national tour of In Finite Spaces, go to

Media Contact: Patricia Quill, (858)822-0661


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