The beauty, mystery, and abuse of the American desert are topics explored by Richard Misrach in his breathtaking Desert Cantos series, one of the most ambitious and innovative photographic projects of our time. Evolving over the course of two decades, the series now comprises eighteen numbered and named subseries, or cantos, and a prologue. With subjects as diverse as a military base in Utah, a man-made flood in California, sublime skies in Arizona, and arts happenings in Nevada, Richard Misrach’s images raise probing and compelling questions about contemporary society’s relationship to the desert. Included in this beautifully illustrated book are more than sixty Desert Cantos photographs that have never before been published, as well as some of the artist’s best-known and most-admired images.
This monumental publication, the first comprehensive survey of Richard Misrach’s epic work-in-progress, serves as an exhibition catalogue for a major midcareer retrospective organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.