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Michael Ormerod:

States of America

2 October to 14 November 2010


Online gallery


Click on the thumbnails to enlarge and see the full image and price details. Please do contact us if you are interested in purchasing any of these works. Please note prices are subject to change dependent on works sold – please check with gallery to confirm prices.


Drugs. c. 1989 Smashed TV. Montana c. 1986 Builder's Yard. Albuquerque, New Mexico c. 1989 Planning Board. Albuquerque, New Mexico c.1989 Butte Water Company. Butte, Montana 1989 Man and Arrow. Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1986 Parking Meter, Woman and Ripped Roof. Ohio, c. 1986
Girl Blowing Bubble Gum. Wall, South Dakota, 1986 Child with Mask. Hillrose, Colorado, 1989 Rainy Townscape. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 1989 Street and Gold Car, Butte, Montana, 1986 Steppin' In High Fashions. Butte, Montana, 1986 Native American at Cemetery. Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1986 Camper Van
Corner Lawn Dinosaur Eat Frontier Sign Girlie Sunshield La Salle Hotel Pumpkin Field
Purple Door Store Front Street Shadows Water Cooler Cityscape
Young Cowboy at Rodeo. Faith, South Dakota, 1986 Bikers.  Near Sturgis, South Dakota, 1986 Targets on Gun Range. Pioche, Nevada, 1986 Deserted Gas Station. undated Girl on Street Corner. Chicago, 1978 Car in levee - road to Grand Isle, Louisiana 1987 Stag on Roof, undated
Man With Paper over his face, undated Man walking in front of buildings, Houston, undated Couple Dancing. Laramie, Wyoming, 1989 Broken Picket Fence, 1978 Texaco sign between Ely and Tonopah, Nevada, 1986 Rancher with cows. Lennox, South Dakota, 1986 Boy at Rodeo
Palmist Billboard Parked Car & Crouching Man Parking Lot Viewing Platform Dead Car


Millennium Images and Crane Kalman Brighton are pleased to present the first major exhibition in nearly a decade of British photographer, Michael Ormerod. States of America will be exhibited at the Crane Kalman Gallery as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe and the Brighton Photo Biennial (curated by Martin Parr) from the 2nd October 14th November 2010.


Michael Ormerod: States of America is the photographic legacy of one of the UK's leading photographic talents whose untimely death in 1991 ended prematurely the highly promising career of a distinctive and powerful photographic voice.


Michael Ormerod was born in Cheshire in 1947. He lived in Newcastle, but spent many years travelling America. Fascinated by the American image, and following in the footsteps of Robert Frank, Ormerod took to the American West to find a washed out dream of capitalism. His images capture a strange juxtaposition of an American beauty tainted by a hidden sense of menace and corruption.


The photographs are understated, but show an unseen America, where the industrial heartland is decaying, highways stand empty and towns are deserted. The subjects of Ormerod's work are the disenfranchised. A teenager cycles through her neighbourhood wearing a Halloween-style hockey mask, a Native American man stands in a graveyard, their expressions are unreadable.


The work subverts traditional American icons. A white picket fence is staved in, a huge billboard for Miss Teen Dakota USA stands next to an empty highway. Inverting the famous Hollywood sign, Ormerod photographs a Texaco sign from the back, dominating the empty, Western landscape.


The works also show humour - a giant fake dinosaur looms in the distance of a desert landscape, a stuffed moose head is displayed in the window of a diner. The subjects of the work are unconventional, surreal and sometimes mundane, but create an atmosphere of an eerie backwater America.


His photographs are those of the outsider, constantly travelling through a no-man's-land. A sense of pessimism pervades, showing how the commercial boom of the 1950s has collapsed, leaving deserted streets, rubbish dumps and alienation. It is a land where the American Dream has turned sour.


Ormerod's book, States of America, was published shortly after he died to mark an exhibition held at the Zelda Cheatle Gallery, London. Since then, only one major exhibition of his work has taken place in Sheffield in 2003. A reappraisal of his powerful and uncompromising chronicle of America is long overdue.


Michael Ormerod: States of America will run from 2nd October 14th November 2010 at the Crane Kalman Gallery, Brighton, 38 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AL


Millennium Images was founded in 1998 and is widely regarded as the first choice for creative imagery for licensing reproduction rights and commissions. Over the last 10 years, Millennium has built a collection of over 20,000 contemporary photographic art images from more than 500 photographers both by more established artist and emerging talent whose work may be being published for the first time.


Crane Kalman Brighton has worked together with Millennium Images, who hold the Michael Ormerod archive, to curate the exhibition. Crane Kalman Brighton previously worked with Millennium Images to launch its first photographic print collection in 2009.


Crane Kalman Brighton is a member of the Own Art scheme run by the Arts Council. The scheme provides interest-free loans of up to 2,000 to buy contemporary art work.


Download press release [PDF, 120KB]



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