Eirik Johnson

Photographer Eirik Johnson's work explores the human footprint on the environment. His large-scale photographs reveal the accidental beauty that occurs when the urban terrain meets the natural landscape. For his Sawdust Mountain series, Johnson spent four years photographing the backwoods of Pacific Northwest, focusing on the region's fishing and timber industries and their fraught relationship to local communities and conservation groups. Reflecting the influence of New Topographics photographers like Robert Adams, Stephen Shore, and Nicholas Nixon, Johnson explores a cross-section of timely issues, including environmentalism, globalization, and the death of American industry. That said, his photographs are as personal as they are political: the artist describes Sawdust Mountain as "a melancholy lover letter of sorts, my own personal ramblings."

He has received numerous awards, including the Santa Fe Prize in 2005 and a Fulbright Grant to Peru in 2000. His exhibitions include solo shows at Aperture Foundation (2010), the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle (2009), the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2005), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cusco, Peru (2000). In 2009, Aperture published the Sawdust Mountain series as a monograph.