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Gall Defies Gravity

Gall Defies Gravity

Photographer Sally Gall 78 PH defies gravity in her solo show Unbound, on view through May 4 at Julie Saul Gallery in New York. “Most of the time we experience the world with the horizon
 as our reference,” Gall says. But in her new work, she seeks “to evoke the feeling of floating – to transport the viewer to a place not bound by gravity.”

Unbound featured diptychs and triptychs composed of mostly vertical images to create what Gall refers to as “image poems” – composite works with a “cinematic montage quality” in which the sum is greater than the parts. The vertical format of the multi-image works were initially inspired by Asian scrolls, which she appreciates for their “epic intentions -- the ability to condense images of a large world into intimate space -- and a deep reverence for nature.”

Gall strives to bring viewers into her sensual photographs so that they experience “the air or the texture of the grasses” -- or in her new work, the sense of being in the air along with an airplane.

The photographer divides her time between New York City and Tuscany, always immersing herself in the landscape and generally eschewing studio work. “My desire for exploration is the same as that of a 19th-century photographer,” she says: “to see what the world looks like, to go to foreign places to photograph what is out there.”

Gall especially loves Tuscany because it’s “the most compelling, open landscape I have ever experienced, except perhaps the high desert in the western United States. It is volcanic, undulating, sensual. I have photographed it for years and years and still haven’t got it right.”

Gall’s work is included in the permanent collections at the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Cleveland Museum of Art, San Francisco MoMA and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, among others. Several of her photos are also included in the RISD Museum’s permanent collection, and her photograph Monadnock was on loan from Collection Smith Glasson for the RISD Museum’s big fall exhibition American in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now.

-Simone Solondz