(Song Cycle no. 4)
texts by Jordan Stein & Nick Irvin
10 × 7 inches, 84 pages, color
Edition of 100
on the occasion of an exhibition:
for a copy, email email@example.com
Since 1978 the artist Gene Beery (b. 1937) has lived in Amador County, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, on a property in the woods on the outskirts of the town of Sutter Creek. Sutter Creek is about an hour’s drive east of Sacramento, and about three hours east of the San Francisco Bay. It’s where, in 1848, the California Gold Rush began, and its downtown district remains testament to its boomtown origins. A bit down the road from downtown is the Sutter Creek US Postal Service office, which is an important place for Gene. For one, it’s where his PO Box is, an essential utility for rural residents whose homes aren’t serviced with direct mail delivery. For another, for years, if you made the pilgrimage to visit Gene and his studio, he would tell you to meet him at this post office, from which he would then drive you up the mountain to his place in his own car. Google Maps would only get you lost, and once you’re lost, there’s no cell reception up there. So the post office was all the more Gene’s point of contact with the world, as an artist as well as a person.
One goal of this book is to demonstrate how so much of Gene’s work has been seen and known through *transmission*: how through correspondence, eventually accelerated by the internet, Gene has kept sending out dispatches, projecting his activity, and the life and land from which it all comes. For Gene, it has been a way to circumvent the fact that his work has not been exhibited so widely; consequently, it is primarily through images like these that people have come to learn about and absorb the work, rather than through more “direct” encounters. The images in this book look at how the ranch roots the practice.
Gene Beery (b. 1937) was born in Racine, Wisconsin. He lives and works in Sutter Creek, California.