|One of the great pleasures of my profession is the discovery of new work. It expands my horizons and helps redefine the boundaries of my taste and experience. I am always on the lookout for something that I have not seen before – for a class of object, or a point of view, that makes a deep and lasting impression. I am attracted to work that shows an understanding and awareness of the materials and traditions of photography, while also offering a unique perspective on a subject or theme. Craft is also very important to me. The photograph must be well made and have integrity as an object. Barret Oliver’s photographs possess many of these qualities.
The quiet intensity of Oliver’s images is what makes them such compelling viewing. Nature is celebrated for its external, beautiful qualities, but that is only part of the story. It is Oliver’s acutely developed sense of seeing that makes his pictures stand out. The photographer, Wynn Bullock, might have used the phrase “eye training” to describe the experience of looking at one of Oliver’s photographs. Each composition is a finely wrought exercise in spatial gymnastics which has much to reward the attentive viewer. Time stands still but beauty and perception are alive and active. Oliver’s photographs show what is possible when vision and craft are harnessed toward a common goal.
High Museum of Art