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John Pfahl

Niagara Power Project, Niagara Falls, New York, from the series Power Places
1981
Ektacolor Plus print
16 x 20 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation

A cliff of dynamited rock and a regiment of electric towers lined up like soldiers on a parade ground overshadow the fabled pictorial allure of Niagara. Pfahl was one of the first photographers to turn away from depicting the natural landscape by poking fun at the conventions of the landscape genre itself. He shows us a beautiful world, but one that is no longer nature’s own.