Lyle Gomes - San Francisco Presidio #1
American, b.1954
San Francisco Presidio #1, 1989
Silver gelatin photograph, 9 x 19 inches
Edition 4/50

Gift of Nicki and J. Ira Harris (BBA '59)

Lyle Gomes was born in 1954 in San Francisco. He began photographing seriously at the age of 20 and received both his BA and MA in Art from San Francisco State University. His long-term study of idealized human-made landscapes, Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes has been supported by both a Fulbright Scholar Award, Britain; and a Rockefeller Foundation residency, Bellagio, Italy. His work can be found in numerous museums that include: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; San Jose Museum of Art; Stanford Museum; and Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. He resides in the San Francisco bay area and heads the Photography program at College of San Mateo.

These panoramic landscapes are part of a sixteen year long undertaking by photographer Lyle Gomes. Assembled in Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes, a book and exhibition mounted at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2007, Gomes's images present a modern day Eden of perfect parks, gardens, golf courses and cemeteries meticulously maintained by unseen human hands: "These places are created to satisfy a desire to dwell in a poetic manner with nature, an attempt at recovering a connection with nature lost with Eden." All of the photographs refer to the presence of people in the cultivated terrain of pathways, benches, gravestones, and footprints. The use of soft, shadowless light and cropping of the vertical dimension heightens the sense of mystery.