News & Reviews

La Citadelle Arts Presents:

From DAWN ‘till DUSK

Air, Water and Landscape Photography


La Citadelle Art Gallery
In the Arboretum of South Barrington
Unit H-45 (next to Parmida)

Artist Reception: Saturday, October 6, 2012 – 7:00 pm

October 6 through January 6, 2012

Artist Talk at La Citadelle: October 8, 2012 – 7:30 pm

Robert McGinley will present his latest installment of magic hour landscape photography entitled From DAWN ‘till DUSK at La Citadelle Art Gallery with an opening reception October 6, 2012 at 7 pm.

Photographed at dawn and dusk on or near Horizon Farms in Chicago, Illinois, the photographs present an explosive and mysterious array of landscapes backlit by magic hour light and filtered by banks of clouds and fog. The exhibition will also include magic hour images from mountains in Utah, the great plains of Georgia and waterfronts in Ireland and Southern California. The collection shot through 2010 through 2012, highlights radical light expressions generated from dynamic weather patterns.

McGinley’s previous work from the shows MAGIC HOUR @ HORIZON FARMS and TOPOGRAPHY, LIGHT and MAGIC played a key role in the preservation of 425 acres of Horizon Farms in Barrington Hills and used in the application process to federal, state and local lawmakers to create the largest conservation easement in the State of Illinois. McGinley will discuss his approach to landscape photography and how it can be used as a conservation tool at the Artist Talk on October 8th at 7:30 P.M.

Prior to his La Citadell exhibition, McGinley’s photography will be featured in PARALLAX: the INTERNATIONAL ARTIST FAIR taking place in New York City at 82 Mercer in SOHO August 3-5, 2012. He is one of six artists chosen to represent the United States by art historian/curator Christopher Barlow where more than 25 countries will be represented.

Robert McGinley is a photographer, filmmaker and poet whose interests in landscape photography parallels his interest in environmental issues and land preservation. His most recent photography exhibitions were in 2010 at the Barrington Area Library and the Blue Seven Gallery in Santa Monica, CA the same year. As a filmmaker he has made several short “music video poems” that use video and poetic narratives that travel through landscapes utilizing off the road vehicles, horses and helicopters.

For more details please contact: Robert McGinley (310 399 1768 - )
or Vesna Boscovic (224 622 9578 - )

Meet Robert McGinley, Filmmaker Turned Landscape Conservation Photographer

He’s a Barrington High School graduate, he’s an ardent conservationist, he’s a filmmaker and he’s a local photographer with studios in Barrington and at his other home in Santa Monica, California. His name is Robert McGinley and he draws inspiration from the family home where he grew up in Barrington Hills, the 400+ acre “Horizon Farms” property at Old Sutton and Algonquin Roads.

Robert McGinley’s love of photography began with a class he took during his years at Barrington High School. He says it was a hobby until about 10 years ago, when he started running operations at Horizon Farms, with 220 client horses, 35 miles of fence line, 11 barns and beautiful Barrington landscapes at every turn.

In fact, one of the reasons he’s currently in town was to attend his class reunion this past homecoming weekend. He’s also the featured artist at the Barrington Area Library tonight where a collection his photographs is currently on display and for sale. His exhibit is called “Topography, Light and Magic” and it features 13 images from Horizon Farms which, until recently, was one of the largest breeding and foaling thoroughbred operations in Illinois.

“There’s really no place like Barrington, from a landscape photography point of view. You have rolling hills, you have wetlands, you have woodlands, you have prairie and you have weather…my work really relies on weather and changes in weather to get the kinds of light patterns that I’m looking for in my photography.”

Robert McGinley is also involved with initiatives to protect land in Barrington from over-development. He’s a leader in local land conservation, starting with his family’s farm, which, thanks to the Barrington Area Conservation Trust, holds the largest land conservation easement in the state of Illinois. Robert’s family doesn’t own the farm anymore, but that’s to the land easement, Robert says “…90-percent of the farm and the landscape and the wetlands and the pasture and the woodlands are going to be in the same condition in perpetuity as they are today.”

You’ll have a chance to meet Robert McGinley if you go to his artist’s reception scheduled at the library tonight. The event will take place in the library’s gallery. It starts at 7PM and will run until 8:45, and they ask that you call the library at 847-382-1300 or register online by clicking HERE. The library’s address is 505 N. Northwest Highway in Barrington and the McGinley exhibit will be on display through October 23rd. You can also learn more about Robert and preview the exhibit on his website at He plans to donate a portion of the sales of his photographs to the Barrington Area Conservation Trust. To learn more about the group and it’s initiatives, visit their website at

Meet Robert McGinley, Filmmaker Turned Landscape Conservation Photographer

Meet photographer, land conservationist, and former filmmaker Robert McGinley at an artist’s reception for the exhibit entitled Topography, Light and Magic on Friday, October 8 at 7 pm at the Barrington Area Library.

One reviewer has said of McGinley’s work: “These photographs have all of the technical awareness of a filmmaker and an artist with a vast knowledge of pastoral landscape painting and Italian Cinema.”

Before taking up photography and land conservation, McGinley was an award winning filmmaker. He wrote and directed feature films, including “Jimmy Zip,” which won Best Dramatic Feature Film at the 1999 Hollywood Film Festival.

In 2001 though, McGinley’s life changed. He was asked to manage his family’s 400 acre farm, Horizon Farms in Barrington. On the farm, McGinley discovered a watershed that was home to endangered wildlife and aquatic species – and thus began his introduction into conservation photography. McGinley began documenting the land through photography and worked to received protected status for this land. The land is now the largest permanent land preservation easement in Illinois with the easement being held by the Barrington Conservation Trust.

Meet the artist and hear his personal story at the artist’s reception. No registration required. For more information, visit the Barrington Area Library online at The library is located at 505 N. Northwest Highway in Barrington. The photos will be on display at the library through October 23.

The Magic Hour in Los Angeles

Robert Frank’s “The Americans” the Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Ave
Robert McGinley’s, “Topography Light and Magic” Blue Seven Gallery

I set out to see photographs this week in Los Angeles driving both east and west across the 10 freeway. I realized that the two shows I saw during the space of that day were connected through their similar dislocation. Swiss born Robert Frank found himself disillusioned with American cultural life probably as the novelty of the country grew tired. In order to find his subjects Frank famously hit the road taking thousands of photographs in the process. Robert McGinley found himself far from the slickness of Hollywood knee deep in Illinois farmland with a camera. In McGinley’s dislocation he found a community of conservationists and eventually created a wildlife easement out of his photography project.

Across town at Blue Seven Gallery in Santa Monica is a very different kind of photography show a slick foil to the show at MOCA with a no less compelling story. McGinley a film director found himself in Barrington Illinois endowed with an estate, Horizon Farms. While on the farm taking care of business for his parents who ultimately passed away during his stay, McGinley discovered a watershed ecology full of endangered wildlife and aquatic species. McGinley saw an opportunity to create a wildlife easement in order to protect the species on the property and prevent further development along the Spring Creek Nature Preserve. The photographs in the show were shot to create exhibits for federal and state lawmakers and ultimately led to the creation of the largest permanent land preservation easement in the state of Illinois. These photographs have all of the technical awareness of a filmmaker and an artist with a vast knowledge of pastoral landscape painting and Italian Cinema. They seem to deliberately quote of from Frederich, Boucher, M.C. Escher and Antonioni. The images dramatize the state of the environmental preservation efforts and make nature the star of the show deliberately pulling on our heartstrings in order to create a moment of communion between the viewer and the life around them.

— From Mary Anna Pomomis' WHITE LIGHT blog.

Topography, Light, and Magic: Landscapes by Robert McGinley

The special character of the photographic image has been its ability to capture the fleeting moment and freeze it; and in that sense defy death. Conversely, Robert McGinley has chosen to reveal the moment as eternal, time suspended rather than stopped. His landscape images of sky, water and earth explore the essence of being present in the moment, and as such they are a meditation on impermanence as a state of being.

As an artist, McGinley acts as a witness to this process, and his photographs exude a contemplative silence. Shot either at dawn or dusk when the light hovers between day and night, they inhabit the indivisible space between here and there; then and now; inhaling and exhaling. Seasonally, they traverse the border, where winter wakens to the first breath of spring, and autumn dissolves into winter.

The subject of these images is not the objects that reside on the land — the rooted trees, two ducks on the lake, the gravel road or the rake, but the space between — the leaves not yet on the branches, the ice beginning to melt, the flickering reflection on the water, the vastness of sky, the mist at dawn, and the mysterious intangibility of the ever-changing light. McGinley seeks to reveal what Miles Davis referred to as “the music between the notes.”

Although the topography belongs to the American Midwest, McGinley’s images are not tied to the specificity of place or event, but rather to the ongoing cycles of life, and as such are without nostalgia or sentiment. They have in common an approach to nature found in Japanese sumi ink paintings, particularly in his works in which the color is so desaturated as to border on tonalities of blacks and grays; and a liquid light seems to come almost from within.

In our fast-paced culture, when no one has any time, and everything is instant, McGinley’s photographs are a perceptual and esthetic intervention. They demand that the viewer stop and look, not for a passing moment, in which case we would surely miss what is there, but for the time it takes to be as present as he was in his observations. They ask us to become aware of the very act of seeing, and of the immense span of a single breath.

Jacki Apple is a visual, performance, and media artist, writer, producer, ( and a Professor at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.