Celebrating a lifetime of exploring humanity’s landscape through an artistic lens, the legendary photographer Keith Carter collects more than 250 of his most compelling images, ranging from the deeply personal to the universal, accompanied by essays from bestselling novelist and poet Rosellen Brown and acclaimed critic A. D. Coleman.
Dubbed a “poet of the ordinary” by the Los Angeles Times, photographer Keith Carter came of age during the turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s, developing a singular, haunting style that captures both the grit and the glory of the human spirit. Showcasing a broad array of his work—which has been shown in more than one hundred solo exhibitions in thirteen countries—Keith Carter: Fifty Years spans delicate, century-old processes as well as digital-age techniques to yield an enduring vision of the world around us.
The interlaced images in Keith Carter: Fifty Years feature contrasts of natural light and darkness as we explore the mythos of time and terrain, the familiar and the magical, and the varied creatures that inhabit our earth. The human form—depleted or energized, solitary or with a beloved partner—becomes a meditation on aging and loss, which have affected Carter profoundly in recent years. Yet these losses have spurred in him a sense of discovery, not despair. Rather than arranging the works chronologically, Carter chose to group them into correlations, echoing the kaleidoscopic effect of memory. The result is mesmerizing; each artifact draws us into an experience of intensity and wonder, enduring long after the page is turned.
“Carter's photographs provide a vision of Texas as we all want to imagine it to be: a hot-as-hell oasis where people lead picturesque yet complex lives, imbued with a sense of calm that can only be felt when an endless landscape extends in all directions. His work helps a transplant like me remember the state for the things that I miss rather than for the reasons I left.”
The New Yorker
“Photographer Keith Carter has spent his life revealing the magical in the mundane…the results, as readers of this book will see, are anything but ordinary.”
The Texas Observer
“Many of [Carter's] most haunting photos explore the invisible links between humans and beasts: A boy hugs his horse goodbye after it’s sold, a Mississippi man sees a litter of kittens as his family, and a distraught woman discovers that a fox found its way into her henhouse. Each portrait presents a puzzle to viewers, who must attempt to discover for themselves what it is about this certain image that makes it so poignant.”
Zócalo Public Square
“Fifty Years is epic in size and scale…This book holds pleasures for those who are familiar with [Carter's] work and those who aren't.”
“[Keith Carter: Fifty Years] signals another rite of passage for the artist.”