Nicholas Nixon is known for the ease and intimacy of his large format photography.
He has photographed porch life in the rural South, the changing Boston cityscape, sick and dying people, the intimacy of couples, and an ongoing annual portrait of his wife Bebe and her three sisters, beginning in 1975.
Included in the seminal 1975 exhibition " "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape", Nixon is a major figure in American photography of the latter half of the twentieth century. In Close Far, Nixon presents a dichotomous group of photos made with his signature large-format view camera, in this case one with an 11x14 inch negative.
The first half of the book contains self-portraits, comprising, in Nixon's words, "sketches of an old man". Filled with anxiety, longing and contentedness, these images chronicle the shapes, slopes and pores of Nixon's face.
The second half of the book shows views of buildings in the densest part of Boston. Made from high within the buildings and with the same camera, these images without horizons do not gaze down upon but rather "through" the city.
With the lens in the same orientation as his self-portrait photos, Nixon's results are remarkable for their richness of detail and complexity of form. Nicholas Nixon was born in Detroit in 1947 and has lived in the Boston area for over forty years. He has received numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and two Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2005, Nixon's ongoing portrait of the Brown sisters was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. His work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among others. Nixon's books include The Brown Sisters (2005) and Live Love Look Last, published by Steidl in 2011.