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"The light on this pillar was just so amazing to me."

“I took this picture while I was on a road trip in Colorado. It was during the time that there was gas rationing and I was waiting in line to get gas,” recalls photographer Stephanie Torbert. “The light on this pillar was just so amazing to me. There is this magical quality to it, as if it is saying ‘there is more to be had up here.’ It’s about a passageway up to another world.”

When Torbert was making these kinds of pictures at the end of the 1960s, it was unusual for art photographers to work with color film. It began when Torbert visited an advertising agency and someone there wondered what she could shoot in color. “I went to a department store,” said Torbert, “and started taking color pictures. I didn’t end up doing anything commercial at the time, but maybe it nudged me in the color direction.” It was a direction that would last for more than 30 years.

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Minneapolis Institute of Arts