Tiina Itkonen's "Two Polar Bear Trousers and Three Towels," Greenland, courtesy of the artist.

Tiina Itkonen's "Two Polar Bear Trousers and Three Towels," Greenland, courtesy of the artist.

‘Portraits of Place’ opens at the Anchorage Museum

ANCHORAGE – The predominant stereotype of the Arctic is that it is a place untouched. Yet, people have long found ways to explore and live in the Arctic.

An upcoming exhibition at the Anchorage Museum, “Portraits of Place: The Arctic in Photographs,” moves viewers away from the idea of the Arctic as a pristine landscap, replacing it with a North that is both inhabited and complex. The artists in this exhibition examine the Arctic through contemporary photography.

“We are a Northern museum, distinctly positioned to convey an authentic narrative for the region, which reflects the North in all of its complexity,” said Anchorage Museum Director Julie Decker in a release. “Exhibitions like this one expand perceptions of the North and ways of considering the Northern landscape and cultures – away from stereotypes. The interest in the North that preoccupied the artists of Romanticism and explorers from every corner has returned, greater than ever. But today’s artists and photographers question the future, rather than depict the grandeur or the landscape. They know our extreme environment represents unprecedented change, which inspires unprecedented innovation in contemporary conditions.”

The portraits in this exhibition explore the Arctic in Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Canada and Russia in the works of Olaf Otto Becker, Brian Adams, Tiina Itkonen, Evgenia Arbugaeva and Acacia Johnson. Itkonen’s “Two Polar Bear Trousers and Three Towels” captures a unique line of laundry in front of a snow field in Greenland. A man on a snow machine watches the sun set into the long Arctic winter in Johnson’s “Driving Into Night (The Last Time We Saw The Sun),” taken in Baffin Island, Canada.

Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.

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