Martha Casanave: EXPLORATIONS

May 4 – August 20, 2023

Martha Casanave: EXPLORATIONS presents the pinhole photography of one of the Monterey region’s most formidable portrait photographers. Casanave’s explorations in pinhole photography document the Monterey Peninsula beyond the picturesque. The two series, Urban Coastlines and Coastal Pinholes, symbolize a shift in the artist’s practice which up until this point had been primarily focused on people instead of place. As Casanave ventured outdoors with her pinhole camera, working in the style of other prominent photographers like Edward Weston and Wynn Bullock, she explored new scenes, aspects, and dimensions of the Monterey Peninsula landscape and built environment. The exhibition is curated alongside photographs from the Museum’s permanent collection, selected by the artist for their significant influence on her life and work.

About the Artist

Martha Casanave is an award-winning photographer who taught locally at Monterey Peninsula College and Cabrillo College for thirty years. While earning her degree in Russian Language and Literature at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, she discovered a passion for photography and combined both these interests to organize tours so American photographers could meet their Eastern counterparts in the Soviet Union from 1984 to 1995.Casanave was awarded the Imogen Cunningham Photography Award in 1979, and the Koret Isreael Prize in 1989. Her works have been published in four monographs: Past Lives, Photographs by Martha Casanave (Godline, 1991), Beware of Dog (Center for Photographic Art, 2002), Explorations Along an Imaginary Coastline (Hudson Hills Press, 2006), and Trajectories, A Half Century of Portraits (Image Continuum Press, 2013). She has photographed and exhibited her work for over forty-five years. Her photographs are included in many major collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, the Bibliotheque Nationale, and the Museum of the History of Photography, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Image: Martha Casanave (b. 1945), McAbee Beach, Cannery Row, n.d., color ink jet print, 16 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist.