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Art Gallery: William Clift

A traveling exhibit showcases the photographer's dedication to sacred monoliths.

Photography: William Clift

For almost four decades, master photographer William Clift has photographed two monoliths that dominate their expansive landscapes: Shiprock, an eroded volcanic form that rises above the northwestern New Mexico desert and is sacred to the Navajo, and Mont St. Michel, a tidal island off the north coast of France that is famous for its Romanesque-Gothic church and monastery.

Mont St. Michel and Shiprock: Photographs by William Clift, a major traveling museum exhibition, presents a selection of more than 130 images from the artist’s dedicated and nuanced explorations of both sites. First showing at the Phoenix Art Museum through April 7, the exhibition will travel to the New Mexico Museum of Art April 19 through September 8. A companion book and limited edition prints are available at www.williamclift.com.


Born in Boston in 1944, Clift began making photographs at the age of 10; he took his first photography workshop with Paul Caponigro at 15 and subsequently became affiliated with many established photographers. Clift moved to New Mexico in 1971 and has long been recognized for his evocative black-and-white images of the landscape there. He continues to live and work in Santa Fe.

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