Ian van Coller: The Last Glacier

Terminal 3

Sep 11, 2015 - Nov 30, 2015

Ian van Coller: The Last Glacier

Ian van Coller’s The Last Glacier project captures the fading majesty of the remaining glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana. Founded in 1910, Glacier National Park contained more than 150 glaciers; today only twenty-five remain. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) predicts that these will be gone by 2030. Van Coller, a resident of Montana, joined fellow artists Todd Anderson and Bruce Crownover on The Last Glacier project to individually document how rapidly the glaciers are retreating.

During the summers between 2012–14, van Coller, accompanied by Anderson and Crownover, hiked over 250 miles into the backcountry of the park to get close to the retreating masses of ice. Van Coller’s photographic goal was to situate the viewer within the terrain. Many of the photographs are intentionally minimalist, often eliminating the horizon and sky so that the viewer must engage with the piece to decipher the depth and scale of the landscape. Van Coller’s photographs challenge conventional representations of glaciers as sublime and stoic landscapes and simultaneously reveal the serious plight of these waning ancient monoliths of dense ice.

Van Coller received a National Diploma in photography from Technikon Natal in Durban, South Africa. In 1992, he moved to the United States to pursue his studies. He received a BFA in photography from Arizona State University and an MFA in photography from The University of New Mexico. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States and South Africa and is included in many significant museum collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Fogg Museum; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; and The South African National Gallery (IZIKO). Van Coller currently lives in Bozeman, Montana, and is an associate professor of photography at Montana State University.

©2015 by the San Francisco Airport Commission. All rights reserved