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Robbert Flick, American, b. 1939
Sequential View 105, Near Vasquez Rocks, 1985
Silver gelatin print on Paper
20 in. x 24 in. (50.8 cm x 60.96 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Gelatin silver Process
Credit Line: Gift of the Yarema Family Trust
Accession Number: 2006.4.2

Netherlands native and University of Southern California Professor of Fine Arts, Robbert Flick, is known for his conceptually rigorous and enigmatic works of art. Working extensively in series, Flick has explored diverse environments such as urban Los Angeles, the California landscape, the rural Midwest and Japan (1). Sequential View 105, Near Vasquez Rocks represents one such exploration, its subject the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area north of Los Angeles.
A meditation on repetition and variation, Sequential View 105, Near Vasquez Rocks presents a six-by-nine grid of black-and-white photographs of the area’s rocky terrain. Overlapping one another at various intervals, and at times omitting areas of the landscape entirely, the images read like a filmstrip with a uniquely rhythmic pattern (2). By grouping similar images together, Flick highlights the impact that even small changes in perspective can have on how a subject is viewed. The selection and placement of images within the grid reinforce these themes; neighboring photographs can sometimes be interpreted as a single, complete image that is then echoed in a subsequent shot.

Robbert Flick’s presentation of California topography in Sequential View 105, Near Vasquez Rocks exudes both formal elegance and mystery. The numerous views appear to present a complete record of the environment traversed, but, in fact, offer only fragmented glimpses. In this way, the work reflects the nature of photography itself, which at first glance seems to record scenes in their entirety but in reality captures only a fleeting impression of an event from a single point of view.
(1) “Robbert Flick.” Roski School of Fine Arts. The University of Southern California. Web. 19 November 2010.
(2) “Robbert Flick.” Museum of Contemporary Photography. Web. 19 November 2010.

Essay by Kelly Boyd, Academic Year Wilson Intern, FA 2010

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