Ron Jude’s imposing, large-scale black-and-white photographs made in Oregon, California, Hawaii, and Iceland depict the raw materials of the planet and its systems—lava flows, rocks formed from volcanic ash, river and tidal currents, and glacial valleys—that are the foundation of organic life. Stripped bare of the evidence of human existence, they remind us that these natural phenomena operate indifferently to our presence in the face of an imminent ecological crisis. The exhibition’s title references the lowest threshold of human hearing, 12 hertz, suggesting the powerful yet frequently imperceptible forces that shape the physical world and the limits of human perception.
Jude’s photographs have been widely exhibited around the world and are held in the permanent collections of the George Eastman Museum; the J. Paul Getty Museum; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Jude is also the author of twelve books—most recently, 12 Hz (2020). He has received numerous grants and awards, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019. He is a professor of art at the University of Oregon and lives in Eugene.
Ron Jude: 12 Hz was organized by the Barry Lopez Foundation for Art & Environment