Leigh Merrill Into the Sunset

April 22, 2011 – June 4, 2011 Gracie R. Cavnar Gallery

Leigh Merrill’s work is driven by an interest in regionalism and the cultural signifiers of particular places. She has photographed the places where she has lived, motivated by curiosity about the architecture that surrounds us and how it reflects larger ideas of beauty, class, romanticism, and perfection.

The works in the exhibition, Into the Sunset, are digitally constructed scenes of North Texas. While exploring a city or neighborhood, Merrill creates thousands of individual photographs and then digitally assembles and re-assembles these photographs to create new images. Each image is typically made from tens to hundreds of different photographs. At first, these composited images might look plausible; but closer inspection reveals that they are fabricated.

Merrill explores the ways in which our built environments are themselves composites of different architectural styles and cultures. These photographs range from urban to rural scenes reminding us of how the American West has been romanticized and shaped through movies and photographs.