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Buy Iceland Wintertide

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at 4:30PM: Visiting Lecturer Series at Haverford College, Chase Hall, Ardmore, PA, "Tales of the Landscape and Dire Warnings. A Photographer's Odyssey"

"In an intriguing way, David Freese's color photographs of Iceland's black-and-white wintertide enclose many dimensions of time. They store the time of the past, which can be associated with the timelessness of nature without man and manifests itself in horizontal layers of volcanic rock, stacked on top of each other, windswept mountains with contrasting personal traits, black lava fields, and tree twigs protruding through the snow. But they also capture the present with fenceposts and power lines, a red roof under a powder-blue sky and a blue tractor, a few trees planted by a farm and a village snuggling under a steep mountain. In Freese's photographs people are like little black strokes, the size of matches, under an immense sky. They not only remind us that nature is bigger than man, but also that, although man cannot survive without nature, nature can cope perfectly well without man."
—Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Novelist, Poet, and Playwright
(Translated from Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon)

"David Freese has traveled the globe considering our planet—its waterways, coastlines, and natural and built environments. His work is revelatory, with an insistence on unique perspectives that examine place. His newest effort, Iceland Wintertide, reflects those same efforts, but this time he captures obscured landscapes covered in snow and ice in heroic geologic and atmospheric vistas. His palette of desaturated winter colors reveal a humbling magnificence, yet Freese reminds us, in the shadow of such remarkable beauty, of the fragility of our earthly environments in the midst of climate change."
—Aline Smithson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lenscratch (more here)

"Iceland Wintertide is a cinematic ode to the vastness of Icelandic land, sea, and skyscapes. The muted tonalities give all the information we need to realize how ephemeral things are—global warming has caused Iceland's glaciers to lose seven percent of their surface (290 square miles/751 square kilometers) since the turn of the millennium. David Freese's elegant documentation of this Arctic region gives us the contemplative space to understand the responsibilities we ideally carry."
– Laura Moya, Director Photolucida

"Looking at David Freese's images of Iceland reminds me that the longest season is full of surprises. Like a sea full of blue ice, a red roofed church in a blizzard, a tiny horse and rider under the heaviest sky, a frozen waterfall, a plowed road cutting through the land, a glimpse of a lake beneath cliffs made soft by snow conjuring up a Georgia O'Keefe painting of Lake George. I look again and again at the pictures and I don't just imagine that I am transported to this otherworldly landscape, I can actually hear the muffled sounds and the strange quiet that comes with the weight of winter. The experience of looking at these photographs is enough."
— Ann Jastrab, Executive Director, Center for Photographic Art

"David Freese has had a singular focus: documenting North American Waters. His first book was West Coast: Bering to Baja, followed by a look at the opposite side of the country, East Coast: Arctic to Tropic, and finally, his trilogy finds its culmination in the recent Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, which coincidently just won the IPPY Gold Medal 2021 for best Coffee Table Book.
"All three are sumptuously printed, beautifully seen and designed. What is most interesting is that these aren't simply documents of those places, but with an unerring instinct, the images are complex, classically beautiful, but never treacly. Since the time span for the three volumes covers eight years, these don't sit as a typical trilogy in terms of book design, size, and binding, but no matter—they are a testament to a singular dedication, coupled with a vision to match. His latest book continues in the same spirit, but travels to the North American Ocean in Iceland Wintertide. David Freese's books are the perfect exploration of the landscape by a master."
—Harris Fogel, Mac Edition Radio


Buy Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf

"With Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, David Freese has created an extensive portrait of the massive life force that runs through the North American continent. His photographs acknowledge and chronicle diverse aspects, from engineering projects and human involvement to flora and fauna, from maplike aerial overviews to intimate vignettes. The scope and thoughtfulness of his photographic perspective, along with the richly descriptive essay by Simon Winchester and engaging foreword by Sarah Kennel, offer insight into the significance of the Mississippi not just for those who live in its watershed, but for all Americans. Taken together with Freese's surveys of North America's East and West Coasts, we can appreciate the intrinsic way that our cultural and economic histories are written in the land and how the keys to our future—especially in light of climate change—are visible along the Mississippi as well."
—Rebecca A. Senf, Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography and the Norton Family Curator of Photography, and author of Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe

"David Freese captures the magic, majesty, and muddy squalor of the Mississippi River. Through images that report, rhapsodize, and editorialize, he depicts the river as a giver of life and a source of peril, a wellspring for agriculture and industry, and a means of transportation, recreation, and contemplation."
—Barbara Tannenbaum, Chair of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Curator of Photography, Cleveland Museum of Art

"The book showcases a masterful visual journey from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota 2,552 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico."
—Aline Smithson, Lenscratch, (read the full article here)

"A simple delight to browse and page through one duo-tone image at a time, Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf showcases memorable aspects of an iconic American river. A remarkable compendium of equally remarkable photography, Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf is very highly recommended for personal Contemporary American Photography collections, and would make an ideal Memorial Gift Acquisition selection for community, college, and university library collections."
—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review

"I wish I could carefully slice a few pages out of David Freese's book and coil them tightly in waterproof bottles. I'd address them to my St. Louis ancestors and float them downhill into the past. Maybe if they knew what was coming, they could try to do something about it." —Julianne Couch, Daily Yonder (read full article here)


Buy East Coast: Arctic to Tropic

"Once again, David Freese and his camera have captured the endless scenic variety of a continent's edge. But these extraordinary images of North America's East Coast do something more subtle as well—they help us see the vulnerability of a landscape poised on the brink of a changing climate. The result is both moving and sobering."
—Michael Brune, Executive Director, The Sierra Club

"David Freese's approach to photographing the North American landscape culminates in images that are both new and part of a tradition that can be traced back to that of the American Luminous tradition on through Western exploratory photography of William Henry Jackson, Timothy O'Sullivan, Carleton Watkins, and Eadweard Muybridge during the nineteenth century. Those classic, pinpoint-sharp photographs sufficed with light became the source material for artists and lawmakers to preserve and value these landscapes before and after the Civil War. Freese's vision, like those of his famous predecessors, connotes an artistic sensibility of hope and loss while inspiring awe and woe."
—William Williams, Professor of Fine Arts and Curator of Photography, Haverford College

"From Greenland's glaciers to the industrialized swamps of New Jersey, to the exposed Outer Banks to the Florida Everglades, David Freese reveals a remarkable graphic beauty all along North America's ecologically vulnerable East Coast. His delectable images at once entrance us and warn us of the fragility of our coasts in the face of global warming and our human desire to live by the sea."
—Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review, (read full article in Lenscratch here)

"David Freese's compelling photographs depicting the Atlantic seaboard are both an invaluable historical record of what things look like now as well as a timely wake-up call to how easily coastal communities everywhere along the East Coast will be affected by a rising sea-level and increased extreme-weather conditions."
—Jolene Hanson, Director, The G2 Gallery, Venice, California

"David Freese hadn't considered an East Coast version of his book West Coast: Bering to Baja, a dramatic look at the West Coast of North America from the ground and from the air. That changed in 2012 when Superstorm Sandy struck and Freese visited New York and New Jersey. Once he saw the devastation, he decided to begin a project that showcased how the rising waters were affecting cities, islands, national parks, and national wildlife refugees through aerial photography on North America's eastern shore (there are also images taken from the ground)." —David Rosenberg, Slate (read full article here)

"It starts with a shot of the spartan landscape surrounding the town of Uummannaq in Greenland and ends with one of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay, and North Miami Beach. In between are scores of black-and-white photos as fine as any you will ever see, including some of Philadelphia, the Delaware River, and the Schuylkill. As Simon Winchester notes, this is 'a 5,000-mile display of venerable geologic pedigree… landscape that is stubborn and settled and vulnerable.'"
—Frank Wilson, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Read an article in Italian here on il Post.

Read book review from arts website Hyperallergic here.


Buy West Coast: Bering to Baja

"Turning the pages of Freese's book of West Coast photographs, you can almost hear the thundering beat of waves against the shore and smell the salt and seaweed-wracked air. The images are stark and tonal, presented in small-format prints that contrast with the vast landscapes they capture. Journalist Simon Winchester's accompanying text explores the geologic forces that shaped the landforms portrayed. Together, the two offer a cohesive portrait of an often-fragmented coastline that stretches from Alaska's mountainous Aleutian Islands south to the sand dunes of Baja California."
High Country News, December 9, 2013, Vol. 45 No. 21

"Photography professor David Freese created this visual travelogue of 115 black-and-white plates depicting the varied 5,000-mile coastline of North America, from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Also included is a foreword by photography historian Naomi Rosenblum, as well as explanatory observations of a more scientific nature by Simon Winchester. Their text supports the images, giving a comprehensive account of the geological forces that have shaped the landscape.
"What elevates West Coast: Bering to Baja above the level of a mere coffee-table book is the consciousness behind it. This deftly balanced combination of ecology, geology, geography, and history is presented through a photographic vision in which its environmental message comes through as clear as the natural imagery. While areas of the Pacific Rim have been captured visually many times before, it's rare to find them presented sequentially in one volume. Though the reproductions are not as large as one might expect from a hardcover, the quality of the presentation compensates by offering very educational contents. Ultimately, this book instills within us an awareness of both the fragility of the landscape and the majesty of the vast geological forces over which we have little control."
—Richard Mandrachio, The San Francisco Book Review and The Sacramento Book Review

"David Freese's unforgettable images are part of a larger effort to respect, draw attention to, and preserve the magnificent natural landscapes of North America's West Coast. Freese's photographs do a great deal more than provide information, for he offers us the opportunity to marvel at both the grandeur and beauty of the natural formations and the elegance of their photographic representation. And it is noteworthy that Freese combines photographic techniques from the past with digital capabilities. This blending of old and new techniques, coupled with his discriminating eye, results in a book of exceptional photographic images."
―Naomi Rosenblum, photographic historian, curator, and author of A World History of Photography and A History of Women Photographers

Read more reviews on the GFT Publishing website, here.