Uzzle Buzz: Country Roads

“Uzzle Buzz” is a series of blog posts, written by various authors, that respond to or comment on some aspect of our exhibition All About America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle.

Molly Boarati is Assistant Curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Chicken ranch

Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938: Chicken Lunch, 2011; archival pigment print. Collection of Jennings Brody and Jonathan Kea. © Burk Uzzle.

Driving to Wilson, North Carolina is a little like driving home. As the curator of Burk Uzzle: Southern Landscapes at the Nasher Museum of Art, I went to visit Burk in his Wilson studio a few times to prepare for the exhibition. Heading east from Durham on route 264 reminded me of the trip to Lancaster County, Virginia, where I grew up, with fields of flowers, rural oddities, like the Country Doctor Museum, and the sleepy towns in between. It seemed appropriate that, in planning a show of Burk’s photographs of southern landscapes, I would have to experience the land along the way, visit parts of the South I had never seen before, and consider them in relation to other regional areas I’d traveled often. Continue reading

Uzzle Buzz: Barn with Deer

“Uzzle Buzz” is a series of blog posts, written by various authors, that respond to or comment on some aspect of our exhibition All About America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle.

Patricia Leighten is Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University and guest curator of All About America.

Barn with Deer, 2009

Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938: Barn with Deer, 2009; carbon print. 30 x 37-7/16 in. Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The William A. Whitaker Foundation Fund, 2015.12.1. © Burk Uzzle.

Burk Uzzle’s travel across twentieth- and twenty-first-century America is a trip through time and across the land, resulting in a significant and diverse body of work. After his close involvement in a time of convulsing social conflict and change, Uzzle was able to move beyond photojournalism, broadening his perspective to look at many aspects of our culture. In each decade he experimented with media and with differing sizes of his prints. And in each case he conveyed his vision—from the dramatic to the whimsical—in a way best suited to the subject. Continue reading