Tribune Review, March 30, 2001
“Maria Bevilacqua’s exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art takes the topography of the great west, the Tetons, Yellowstone etc. as subject matter. The landscape hasn’t changed much, although for a moment I thought Bevilacqua had simply taken one of those 19th century landscape photographers, Carlton Watkins for example, and manipulated the images, adding a ghostly and somewhat romantic element. That is not the case. The photographs are Bevilacqua’s own. On a technical level, these images were taken using infrared film, which imparts a curious light quality that they all have…the results are excellent.
“…Bevilacqua has not taken photographs of America or Italy to add to some body of patriotic or documentary imagery. Instead, and this is quite remarkable, these landscapes fall into the category of self-portraiture…They connote Bevilacqua’s sense of self-identity with the landscape she has chosen. That brings to mind the romanticism of German landscape painting of the early 19th century (Caspar David Friedrich, par excellence) and the landscape poetry of William Wordsworth in England. The artist and her subject become inseparable.
“…Intimate Intersections: A Journey Home is in fact a documentary of inner life played out against the backdrop of two contrasting landscapes that matters hugely to the photographer. These large grainy photographs teeter on the edge of the diffuse, evoking, above all, memory and the emotions.”
Tribune Review Art Critic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 7, 2001
“Intimate Intersections: A Journey Home, as the title implies, have very personal undertones yet are not immediately obvious in Maria Bevilacqua’s dramatic black and white landscapes of Italy and the American West.
“The qualities that empower her work are an eye for composition-coaxing strong horizontals from the land or setting up juxtapositions of calm and turbulence-and the nuances of detail and light gained by using infra red film. Bevilacqua captures the vastness of the Wyoming wilderness, no small task, while placing the viewer in a more immediate foreground thereby setting up an experience of transcendence.
“While searching the craggy and leafy patterns of Bevilacqua’s isolated landscapes, the visitor uncovers eternal answers-and questions. This is a thoughtful destination where the viewer may choose the intensity of his itinerary.”
Post-Gazette Art Critic
A word from the Curator
Selecting an exhibition of an artist’s work from just one or two examples is always a challenge, to say the least. That was not the case, however, with Maria Bevilacqua’s photograph. As I entered the Carnegie Museum of Art to make my selection from the work in the 1999 Associated Artists of Pittsburgh annual exhibition, my eye was immediately drawn to Maria’s large-scale black and white photograph of a mountainous landscape. From a distance across the gallery, it was a powerful image. Upon closer inspection, the image was even more compelling. Maria’s use of infrared film, together with her choice of subject matter, infused her images with a sense of awe and mystery of the landscape and because of their large size, surrounds the viewer with it. A feeling of timelessness and transition predominates in these photographs and transports the viewer into the illusory realm. After seeing the fourteen photographs that Maria selected for the final exhibition entitled Intimate Intersections, I am even more convinced that I made the right choice for our exhibition award.
Barbara L. Jones
Westmoreland Museum of American Art