JoAnn Verburg

Olive Trees + Portraits

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JoAnn Verburg, Ledge, 2009, 48 x 34 inches, edition of 10


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Biographical Information

(American, b.1950) JoAnn Verburg received a BA in sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. From 1977 to 1979, Verburg served as the research director and photographer for the Rephotographic Survey Project, traveling throughout the American West to replicate the same wilderness views made by nineteenth-century frontier photographers William Henry Jackson and Timothy O’Sullivan.

While heading Polaroid’s Visiting Artist Program in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Verburg promoted technical innovation in the photographic field by inviting artists Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Jan Groover, and Jim Dine, among others, to experiment with new large format instant cameras.

Distinguished by its extraordinary sensitivity to the energy and sensuality of the natural world, Verburg’s own photographic work combines exquisite color, varied focus, and thoughtful composition to convey the beauty of its subject and setting. Often exhibited as diptychs and triptychs, her evocative images of olive groves near her home in Spoleto, Italy, envelop the viewer in a serene and dreamlike atmosphere. For over thirty years, Verburg has returned to the landscapes around Spoleto with her husband, poet Jim Moore, to capture the fields and trees of the Italian countryside.The artist has exhibited her work extensively in the United States and around the world. Including solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2001, and a mid-career survey Present Tense at the Museum of Modern Art New York in 2007 and at The Walker Art Center in 2008.

JoAnn Verburg is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1986), as well as fellowships from the Bush Foundation (1983 and 1993) and the McKnight Foundation (1994 and 2004). She was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Residency at the Bellagio Conference and Study Center, Bellagio, Italy in 1998. She has held teaching positions at Yale University and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and was an artist in residence at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Verburg’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, WA.  She currently lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Spoleto, Italy.