Pictures of Hell

RAM Publications, 2014

Devils Gate, Devils Canyon, Bumpass Hell, Hells Half Acre, Dirty Devil River:
photographer Mark Ruwedel visited all of these places and more while creating
the series Pictures of Hell. This book is the culmination of the journey he began
in 1995, and brings together virtually every image in the artist’s brilliant
interpretation of the American West. Ruwedel, 2014 winner of a Guggenheim
Fellowship and the prestigious Canadian Scotiabank Award, is inspired by the
19th-century photographers whose photo albums revealed the glories of the
West. In Pictures of Hell, he layers history with a contemporary investigation of
technology, anthropology and colonization. Ruwedel’s work has been exhibited
at TATE Modern, Yale University Art Gallery, SFMoMA, LACMA and other
important venues. 132 meticulously reproduced tritone plates are complemented
with essays by Simon Baker and Chiara Siravo. With intellect and wit, Ruwedel
investigates what the West means today, and how its mythology and culture
affect our current sensibilities.