Casemore Gallery recently opened Some Polar Expiation, an Enormous Cat, a Complete Collection of Cinematic Houses at Night, a Starlet, a Mentor, Some Assorted Reveries & a Message from the Future, the largest survey of Todd Hido’s photographs ever assembled, including pictures from his most recent body of work, The End Sends Advance Warning, a very rare presentation of his complete House Hunting pictures, and a selection of additional key images from throughout his career. 

Hido (born in Kent, Ohio, 1968) first found his photographic vision through an obsessive exploration of the suburban landscape of his childhood that became the pictures in House Hunting. Through his lens, the idyllic promises of American suburbia were exposed as something darker and entropic. In these images, chipped paint, broken picket fences, and muddy ground reflect homes almost sulking in twilight mist. The muted interior light emanating from thinly curtained windows conceals the lives of the people within, hiding in an anxious, protective posture from the changing world outside.

Also in the exhibition is “Dad On The Bed” an image by the late Larry Sultan, an important mentor to Hido, from his series Pictures From Home. According to Hido, “Like Larry, I wanted to photograph the notion of family, but without making pictures of my own family. He showed me that pictures of domesticity didn’t need to consist of portraits, but that the places families inhabit can in fact be just as powerful and revealing. House Hunting was born in part from his mentorship.”

While House Hunting, Outskirts, and other subsequent bodies of his suburbia-focused work ultimately gave Hido a sense of closure around his own childhood experiences, these works and their focus on exteriors inspired him to further his practice by creating a sui generis visual language of landscape photography. By shooting in rainy or inclement conditions, sometimes through the windshield of his car, and other unusual conditions, he found new ways to see the world around him. These landscapes feel mysterious and dark, boldly cinematic, beautiful but menacing, not so much expansive as claustrophobic, often apocalyptic.

These further explorations of landscape ultimately led him to go beyond the United States mainland to photograph in diverse locations around the world. His most recent body of work, The End Sends Advance Warning, features pictures from the Bay Area of California, where he currently lives, but he has roamed as far as the Hawaiian Islands and their meteorological opposites; the shores of the Bering Sea, and Nordic fjords above the Arctic Circle. Hido’s signature visuals remain vividly present, but there is a new focus. Irrespective of its title, this latest body of work is about hope and beauty and why we seek it so desperately at this time.

The pictures are not without the sense of foreboding that echoes the global political and environmental dynamics currently in play, but they see beyond that. Mystery and majesty abound and a planet greater than us emerges, with an enduring and transcendent beauty that radiates optimism for the future.

Rounding out the show are a selection of key images from additional bodies of Hido’s work through the years, from cinematic portraits of his model and muse Khrystyana, to a whimsical image of a large and imposing cat in front of garish wood paneling. In all, the exhibition features more than 90 images, the largest-ever assembly of Hido’s work.

The exhibition is held at Minnesota Street Project’s 6,000-square-foot space at 1150 25th Street (formerly the home of the McEvoy Foundation).