Michael Light

Michael Light

  • Biography

    Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer focused on the environment and how contemporary American
    culture relates to it. He has exhibited globally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,
    The Getty Research Institute, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert
    Museum in London, among others.
    For the last fifteen years, Light has aerially photographed over settled and unsettled areas of American space,
    pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime. A
    private pilot and Guggenheim Fellow in photography, he is currently working on an extended aerial survey of the arid Western
    states. Radius Books published the first of a multi-volume series of this work, Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack, in 2009. The
    second, LA Day/LA Night, was released in 2011. The third, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain, was published in 2015. The fourth,
    Lake Lahontan/Lake Bonneville, was released in September 2019.
    Light is also known for his globally published archival works. His first, FULL MOON (1999), used lunar geological
    survey imagery made by the Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a sublime desert and an embattled point of first
    human contact. 100 SUNS (2003), focused on the politics and landscape meanings of military photographs of U.S. atmospheric
    nuclear detonations from 1945 to 1962.

  • Awards

    2015 PDN Photo Annual Book Winner, New York
    2007 Artadia Award, Fund for Art and Dialogue, New York
    2007 John Simon Memorial Foundation Guggenheim Fellow; Photography
    2004 “100 SUNS: Honorable Mention Best Edited Historical Book,” ICP Golden Light Awards, New York
    2001 "FULL MOON: Special Commendation, 2000 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Awards," London

  • Exhibitions

    2019 “Michael Light: Gardiner’s Island and Amagansett,” The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY
    2019 “Michael Light: Full Moon,” Danziger Gallery, New York, NY
    2019 “GLOW: Michael Light’s Views of L.A.,” Los Angeles Public Library
    2019 “Great Basin Autoglyphs and Pleistoseas,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    2018 “Michael Light: Sidereal Rift,” San Francisco Airport Terminal Three, San Francisco
    2017 “Planetary Landscape,” Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA
    2016 “Sidereal Rift,” Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
    2013 “Some Dry Space,” James Danziger Gallery, New York
    2012 “Private Frontiers,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    2012 “Two Sublimes, Idaho” Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
    2011 “Some Dry Space: An Inhabited West,” Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR
    2010 “Architecture of Subtraction," Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
    2010 "InterMountain," Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
    2009 “100 Suns,” Yours Gallery Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
    2009 "New Work," Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
    2008 “Some Dry Space: An Inhabited West,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
    2008 “Bookworks and Photographs,” Galerie Michael Wiesehoefer, Cologne
    2008 “100 Suns,” Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington
    2008 “100 Suns,” Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee
    2007 “Edge Of The West,” Galerie Luc Bellier, Paris
    2007 “Los Angeles 07.27.05,” Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
    2007 “Bookworks,” Hosfelt Gallery, New York
    2007 “Near Planet,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
    2006 “100 Suns,” Hosfelt Gallery, New York
    2006 “Full Moon,” Hasselblad Center, Goteborg, Sweden
    2005 “Hover,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
    2005 “Arid Flows: Los Angeles and Its Deserts,” Natural History Museum of LA County, CA
    2005 “100 Suns: For Robert, Ernest & Edward’s Berkeley, 1945-1962”, University of California, Berkeley
    2004 “100 Suns,” Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    2004 “Silence and the Big Blast,” Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh
    2004 “100 Suns,” Auditorium Arte, Rome
    2004 “100 Suns,” Frehrking + Wiesehofer Gallery, Cologne
    2004 “Some Dry Space,” Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
    2003 “100 Suns,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
    2001 Metropolitan Transit Authority/Arts For Transit, Grand Central Station, New York
    2000 "Full Moon," Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
    2000 "Full Moon" American Museum of Natural History, New York
    1999 "Full Moon," Hayward Gallery, London
    1999 "Full Moon," Huis Marseille/Foundation for Photography, Amsterdam
    1999 "Full Moon," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
    1995 "Blue Fall," Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
    1995 “Ranch & Oblivion,” Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
    2020 “Abstraction: New Acquisitions,” Denver Art Museum, CO
    2020 “Fotobokfestival Oslo 2020,” Oslo, Norway
    2020 “Civilization, Photography, Now,” Auckland Art Gallery/Toi o Tamaki, New Zealand
    2019 “The Stories They Tell: 100 Years of Photography,” Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
    2019 “The Observable Universe: Visualizing the Cosmos in Art,” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA
    2019 “The Moon,” Geelong Gallery, Geelong/Melbourne, Australia
    2019 “Survols: Aerial Photography of Cities,” Talinn, Estonia

    2019 “Moon,” FOMU Foto Museum, Antwerp, Holland
    2019 “Moonlight,” Hasselblad Foundation, Sweden
    2019 “The Final Frontier,” Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, CA
    2019 “Dear Leader,” Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA
    2019 “Vantage Points: Bartos, Diergarten, Light,” The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY
    2019 “Civilization: The Way We Live Now,” Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
    2018 “MONUMENTality,” Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
    2018 “Survols: Aerial Photography of Cities,” CAUE 92 Gallery, Nanterre, France
    2018 “Civilization: The Way We Live Now,” National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Seoul Korea
    2018 “Anthropocenic: Art About The Natural World In The Human Era,” Bates College Museum of Art, Maine
    2018 “Cosmic Wonders: The Moon, The Stars and The Space Between,” Bolinas Museum, CA
    2018 “High: Photography From Above,” Atlas Gallery, London
    2018 “Class Reunion: Works from the Wilhelm Schurmann Collection,” Museum of Modern Art/MUMOK, Vienna
    2018 “Frankenstein’s Birthday Party,” Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA
    2018 “Nuclear Legacy,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
    2016 “Boundless: A California Invitational,” Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
    2016 “Indestructible Wonder,” San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
    2016 “Wild West: Plains to the Pacific,” Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
    2016 “Aerial Imagery in Print, 1860 to Today,” Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
    2016 “Explode Everyday: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder,” MassMOCA, North Adams, MA
    2016 “California and the West,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
    2016 “Into the Night: Contemporary Art and the Nocturne Tradition,” Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
    2015 “Camera Atomica,” Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario, Canada
    2015 “TAHOE: A Visual History,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
    2015 “Night Begins the Day: Rethinking Space, Time, and Beauty,” Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
    2014 “They Used to Call it the Moon,” BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK
    2014 “Road Trip: Photography of the American West,” LACMA/Musee des Beaux Arts de Bordeaux, France
    2014 “Driving L.A.,” Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
    2014 “Creation and Erasure: Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine,” Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT
    2013 “Cosmopolitan,” Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
    2013 “In All Cases: A Collection Selection,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
    2013 “From Above: Aerial Photography from the Center for Creative Photography,” Tucson, AZ
    2013 “Landmark: The Fields of Photography,” Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
    2013 “Overdrive: Los Angeles Constructs the Future,” The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    2013 “30x: Three Decades,” Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
    2012 “Flight and the Artistic Imagination,” Compton Verney House, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
    2012 “Wonderland,” International FotoFestival Knokke-Heist, Belgium
    2011 “The Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
    2011 “Aftershocks,” UCR/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA
    2011 “Skydreamers,” Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
    2010 “The More Things Change,“ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
    2010 “Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes,” De Young Museum, San Francisco
    2010 “Le Festival Images,” Vevey, Switzerland
    2010 “Re-Imagining the West,” Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ
    2010 “State of Mind: A California Invitational,” Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
    2010 “The Future Lasts Forever: An Autobiography of the Bay Area,” SF Camerawork, San Francisco
    2010 “The View From Here,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
    2009 “The Moon,” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    2009 "The Moon," Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, Germany
    2009 "Lives of the Hudson," Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
    2008 “Atomic Afterimage,” Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA
    2008 “This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs,” Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
    2008 “Picturing Modernity: The Photography Collection,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
    2008 “Controverses,” Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
    2007 “PEEP: The Kerry Stokes Collection”, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia
    2007 “Landscapes of War,” San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
    2007 “I’ll Never Really See: Contemporary Photography from the V&A,” Victoria & Albert Museum, London
    2007 “Re-SITE-ing the West: Contemporary Photographs from the Permanent Collection,” LACMA, CA
    2006 “City Limits,” University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, CA
    2006 “To The Human Future: Escape From The Dark Side,” Art Tower Mito, Mito, Japan
    2005 “Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy,” ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany
    2005 “Nuclear Realities: Images of the Bomb,” Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam

    2005 “Techno-Sublime,” Colorado University Art Museum, UC Boulder, Colorado
    2005 “Les Grands Spectacles: 120 Years of Art and Mass Culture,” Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
    2004 “Wirklich Wahr! Realitatsversprechen von Fotografien,” Ruhrlandmuseum, Essen, Germany
    2004 “Kurzdavordanach,” Die Photographische Sammlung, Cologne, Germany
    2004 “Building the Unthinkable,” apexart, New York
    2004 “The Nuclear West,” Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV (traveling)
    2003 “The New Sublime,” Northlight Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
    2002 “Deep Space: Sensation and Immersion,” Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne
    2001 "Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen," Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    2001 "The World From Here," Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles
    2001 "Space Odyssey," Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito, Mito, Japan
    2000 "Deep Distance," Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
    2000 "The Desert," Fondation Cartier pour L’Art Contemporaine, Paris
    1999 "Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde," The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Showing all 3 artworks

Michael Light

The Lunar Module Antares at Fra Mauro; Photographed by Alan Shepard, Apollo 14,, 1971
24.5 x 24.5 ″ color coupler print $2,500.00

Michael Light

20-Mile-Wide Crater Timocharis, 62 Miles Altitude; Photographed by Alfred Worden, Apollo 15, July 26-August 7, 1971, 1971
39.5 x 39.5 ″ c-print $3,000.00

Michael Light

Aldrin's boot print, Apollo 11, 1969
24.5 x 24.5 ″ color coupler print $2,500.00