The exhibition Seen in Passing: Photographs by Chuck Forsman (November 17, 2013–May 25, 2014 at the Denver Art Museum) features more than 40 black and white photographs from two complementary bodies of work: Western Rider and Walking Magpie as well as three paintings. Western Rider looks at Western landscapes from one of the most familiar vantage points of the present age—the driver’s seat of a car—as Forsman surveys places that range from Indian reservations to urban oil refineries, from a cemetery in the famous copper smelting town of Anaconda, Montana, to a gleaming reservoir in Hells Canyon, Idaho. Walking Magpie takes a coast-to-coast inventory of American landscapes as Forsman saw the country while walking his dog Magpie.
With few exceptions, Forman’s photographs concentrate on everyday places rather than on scenic attractions. He stays away from lenses or vantage points that distort how things appear so that his subjects look much the way anyone else would find them. As Forsman once said, “Some people think they have to go to exotic places or the far ends of the earth to find excitement. I’ve always liked the idea of finding interest at home; just walking around the block can be an experience.”