Harry Littell

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Bath, Seneca Falls, and Auburn. Moravia, Cortland, and Binghamton. Johnson City, Owego, Elmira, and Horseheads. I work within a roughly 50-mile radius circle, with my home, Ithaca, at the center.  I’m trying to tell one possible story of this small swath of upstate New York—the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier—as seen through my photographs. In the past I’ve looked at aspects of history and the natural landscape. These days I’m interested in the built environment and people. I don’t tire of returning to a site—the morning light is enough to get started. In recent photographs I’m stepping back, fitting more in my frame, looking for more context. I want to see the big picture, to understand how things fit together. The photographs combine a formally exacting realism with a quiet stillness. I like to imagine that this depiction of sad, beautiful upstate New York, as presented in my recent books, including Lest We Forget, Feeling that Merriment, Divine Metaphysical Research, Academic Suspension, and Unroom, also represents the larger American scene.