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Each year, Victoria Sambunaris structures her life around a photographic journey traversing the American landscape. Equipped with a 5x7 inch field camera, film, a video camera and research material, she crosses the country alone by car for several months per year. Her large-scale photographs document the continuing transformation of the American landscape with specific attention given to expanding political and industrial interventions. 

Sambunaris completed a 3-year project in 2011 along the 2000-mile border between the US and Mexico concentrating on the intersection of geology, industry and culture along the international boundary This work prompted her most recent work examining the petrochemical, trade and energy infrastructure occurring throughout the United States, which is ultimately integral to the Texas Gulf coast region.  

Over the years, she found herself drawn not only to the magnificence of open land, dramatic vistas, and vast skies – the landscape as such - but also to the recurring sprawl of housing developments punctuated by windowless manufacturing plants, massive distribution warehouses, the endless rows of parked trucks and containers stacked on trains, massive mining operations, infinite pipelines and other stages where nature meets culture unexpectedly.  

Her ongoing series, “Taxonomy of a Landscape,” encompasses 16 years of work including the images and the collected ephemera that form the essential and incidental elements of her work as a photographer and researcher. This work includes video documentation of experiences and observations on the road: snapshots, maps, road logs, journals, geology and history books, mineral specimens and artifacts.  

Sambunaris received her MFA from Yale University in 1999. She is the recipient of the 2010 Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship and the 2010 Anonymous Was a Woman Award. In 2011, “Taxonomy of a Landscape” debuted at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery in Baltimore, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno and the Rubin Center, University of Texas, El Paso.

Her work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Yale University Art Gallery; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and the Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe. Her first monograph was published by Radius Books in 2014.


Born 1964, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lives and works in New York

1999 MFA, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut
1986 BA, Mount Vernon College, Washington, DC

2017   Observed: The Great American Landscape in Transition, Hostler Burrows,
                New York, NY
           Nexus, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY
2016   Historical Echoes, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
2015   Shifting Baselines:Texas Gulf Coast, Galveston Artist Residency,
​                Galveston, TX
           Taxonomy of a Landscape, Rubin Center, University of Texas, El Paso, TX
           Taxonomy of a Landscape, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
2014   Taxonomy of a Landscape, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, University of
​                Maryland, Baltimore, MD
2013   Taxonomy of a Landscape, Museum of Contemporary Photography,
​                Chicago, IL
2012   Between Worlds, Tops Gallery, Memphis, TN
           Infinite/Ubiquitous, The Demuth Museum, Lancaster, PA
2011   The Border, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY
           Taxonomy of a Landscape, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2010   Terra Firma, Nicole Fiacco Gallery, Hudson, NY
2009   Terra Firma, La Foundation d’Enterprise Hermès, New York, NY
           Overland: Photographs by Victoria Sambunaris, Lannan Foundation,
​                Santa Fe, NM
           A Space of Time, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
2008   Victoria Sambunaris: Yet All Remains, Yancey Richardson Gallery,
​                New York, NY
2005   Site Specific: Victoria Sambunaris & Robert Toedter, Richard & Dolly
​                Maass Gallery, Purchase College, Purchase, NY
2004   Christine Burgin Gallery, New York, NY
2003   Lynn Goode Crowley, Marfa, TX
2001   Christine Burgin Gallery, New York, NY
           WorkPlace, Deborah Berke Architect, New York, NY|
           Monuments of the Road, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
           WorkPlace, Yale School of Architecture Gallery, New Haven, CT
2000   Deborah Berke Architect, New York, NY

2017   TEFAF New York Spring, Hostler Burrows, New York, NY
           The Whitney Houston Biennial, New York, NY
           Broken Ground: New Directions in Land Art, FSU Museum of Fine Arts,
​                Tallahassee, FL
2016   (INFRA) STRUCTURE, Lannan Foundation Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
           Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy, Museum of Contemporary Photography,
​                Chicago, IL
2015   Island Time: Galveston Artist Residency-The First Four Years,
​                Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, TX
           In Passing: American Landscape Photography, SCAD Museum of Art,
​                Savannah, GA
2014   Altered Landscapes, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
           Desert Serenade: Drones, Fences, Cacti, Test Sites, Craters and Serapes,
​                Lannan Foundation Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2013   Legacy: Photographs from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection, Aldrich
​                Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, in collaboration with the
​                Whitney Museum of American Art
2012   American in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now, Museum of Art
​                at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
           Decade: Contemporary Collecting 2002-2012, Albright-Knox Art Gallery,
​                Buffalo, NY
           The Permanent Way, Apexart, New York, NY
2011   Photography in Mexico from the 1920s, San Francisco Museum of Art,
​                San Francisco, CA
           The Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment,
​                Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
           PUBLIC WORKS, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia
​                College Chicago, Chicago, IL
           Art in Embassies, Paris, France
           UCross: Twenty-Seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, UCross
​                Foundation, Clearmont, WY
           People, Places, Power: Reframing the American Landscape,
​                Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, Davidson, NC
2010   10.10.10 Image. Architecture.Now, Julius Shulman Institute at Woodbury
​                University, Burbank, CA
           Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, MoMA,
​                New York, NY
           UCross: Twenty-Seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies, Nicolaysen Art
​                Museum and Discovery Center, Casper, WY
           Housed, Alice Austen House Museum, Staten Island, New York, NY
           Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH
​                Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
           31 Women in Art Photography, Humble Arts Foundation, New York, NY
           Fotofest 2010 Biennial, Curator Natasha Egan, Houston, TX
           A New American Photographic Dream, Septembre De La Photographie,
​                Lyon, France
2009   Manmade: Notions of Landscape from the Lannan Collection,
​                New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
           Stripped: An Exploration of Mining Works, Sun Valley Center for the
​                Arts, ID
           Young Curators, New Ideas II, PPOW, New York, NY
           Supernatural, New York Photo Festival, Brooklyn, NY
2008   Paris Photo, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France
           Sticks, Stones, Bones, R 20th Century, New York, NY
           Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff, Yale School of
​                Architecture, New Haven, CT
2007   Easy Rider: Road Trips through America, Yancey Richardson Gallery,
​                New York, NY
           Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff, Honolulu
​                Academy of Art, Oahu, HI
2006   A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY
2003   Lee Friedlander: Life on the Road: American Images 1962-2002
           Victoria Sambunaris: New Work, James Kelly Contemporary,
​                Santa Fe, NM
           Tadao Ando’s Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts: Ellsworth Kelly, Robert
​                Pettus & Victoria Sambunaris, Chicago Architecture Foundation,
​                Chicago, IL
2002   Need to Know Basis, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
           Big 42: New Jersey, Bronwyn Kennan, New York, NY
           Fresh Kills: The Photographs, Snug Harbor Cultural Center,
​                Staten Island, NY
2001   Fresh Kills: The Photographs, Urban Center at the Municipal Art Society,
​                New York, NY
           George Kimmerling, Dan Kopp, Vicky Sambunaris, Bellwether,
​                Brooklyn, NY
           Saving Corporate Modernism, Yale School of Architecture,
​                New Haven, CT
           American: Lewis Baltz, Burt Barr, Tim Davis, Danny Hobart,
​                Donald Moffett, Vicky Sambunaris, Postmasters, New York, NY
2000   Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
           Pogo Stick: Gabrielle Brandt, Melissa Brown, Matt Ducklo, Eric Hongisto,
​                Victoria Sambunaris, Tony Shore, Dan Torop, Contemporary Arts
​                Collective, Las Vegas, NV
1999   The Wight Biennial, The New Wight Gallery, UCLA School of the
​                Arts & Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
           Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA

2017   "Victoria Sambunaris - 4 May - 30 June, Hostler Burrows,"
​                Wall Street International, May 13
           Keller, Hadley. "Art and Design Merge in Hostler Burrows's Latest Show,"
​                Architectural Digest, May 
           Idarraga, Jessica. "Cultured X Hostler Burrows," Cultured, May
2016   Kurland, Andrea, “Taxonomy of a Landscape”, Huck Magazine, December
           Modern Art Notes Podcast with Victoria Sambunaris, August 2016
           Klaasmeyer, Kelly, “Review: Shifting Baselines: Texas Gulf Coast”,
​                Houston Press, January
           “Portfolio: Taxonomy of a Landscape”, RELIEFS, January 2016, pp. 98-107.
           Victoria Sambunaris: A Taxonomy of Texas, Daylight
2015   Wood, William Geoffrey, “Changing the Channel”, Houstonia, December
           “Feature: Taxonomy of a Landscape”, Chinese Photography, November,
​                pp. 60-69
           A Photographers Version of the Great American Novel, Slate Magazine
           “Portfolio: Victoria Sambunaris”, Prefix Photo, May

2014   A contemporary Take on American Landscape, The Wall Street Journal

           On the Road: Victoria Sambunaris’ Travels Across the American
​                Landscape, TIME|
           Taxonomy of a Landscape: photographer Victoria Sambunaris’ visual
​                journeys across the US, Wallpaper
           Great American Landscapes Forever Altered by Human ‘Progress’,
​                WIRED Magazine
           Stark Photographs of America the Beautiful, Forever Altered by Man and
​                Nature, Smithsonian
           Full Circle, Cultured Magazine
           On the Road with Victoria Sambunaris, American Photo
           Stauffer, Tema, “On the Road with Victoria Sambunaris”, American Photo,
​                March
2013   Weinberg, Lauren, “Victoria Sambunaris”, Museum of Contemporary
​                Photography, Chicago,
           ARTnews, September
           Resurveying the West, Places Journal
2012   “The Permanent Way”, Apexart for Review ARTFORUM, July 2012
2011   “Critic’s Pick: Victoria Sambunaris”, Albright-Knox review ARTFORUM,
​                December
           “Victoria Sambunaris”, ARTFORUM, May 2011
2009   Macia, Peter. “American in Photos: Double Vision”, Fader Magazine 64
​                (photo special), October/November, pp.76-95
           “Terra Firma”, Wallpaper Magazine (online edition), September 8.
           Zhong, Fan. “Victoria Sambunaris’s Western Shots”, Interview Magazine
​                (online edition), September 8
           Fischer, Zane. “Forensic Photography”, Santa Fe Reporter, July 2
2008   Schmidt, Jason. “Work in Progress”, V, fall 2008, p.63
           “Victoria Sambunaris”, New Yorker, May 19
           “Appreciating Nature through Abstraction”, New York Sun, April 10
2006   Lichtenstein, Miranda. “The Artists’ Artists”, ARTFORUM,
​                December, p.111
           Schmerler, Sarah. “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts’ at Mitchell-Innes &
​                Nash”, Art on Paper, September/October, pp.88-89
           Ross, Lauren, Brooklyn Rail, September
           Rosenberg, Karen. “An Afternoon in Chelsea,” New York, July 17, p.63
2005   “Drilling San Andreas”, Discover, March
2004   “Don’t Miss…” Time Out NY, July 1-8, p.55
           “Redefining Architectural Photography, Constructs: Yale Architecture
​                spring, p.23
2003   Collins, Tom. “Photos Evoke Surrealism of Everyday Life”, Albuquerque
​                Journal, July 25
           “Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center”, House & Garden, August
           “Fort Worth Modern Art”, Travel + Leisure, January
2002   Herman, Michele. “New Architectural Photograph: Off the Pedestal”,
​                Photo District News, June, pp. 33-38
           Butcher, Sterry. “Sambunaris Explores Corporate Landscapes, Industry,
​                Suburban Scenes in Color Photos”, Big Bend Sentinel, June 13
           “New Jersey”, Big 42, May/June
2001   Smith, Ken. “WorkPlace”, Constructs, September, p.11
           Wehr, Anne. “American”, Time Out NY, January 18-25, p.56
           Aletti, Vince. “Voice Choices: Photo, ‘American’”, Village Voice,
​                January 23, p.75
           “Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts”, Architecture, December
           “Deborah Berke, Yale School of Art”, Architecture
2000   Palmer, Sarah. “Trailers”, Architecture, October, pp.112-117

2016   One, published by Radius Books
2013   Monograph: Taxonomy of a Landscape: Victoria Sambunaris, essay by
​                Natasha Egan, published by Radius Books
2012   Making the Geologic Now, edited by Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse,
​                published by Punctum books
2011   The Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment, Nevada
​                Museum of Art, published by Rizzoli, edited by Ann M. Wolfe.
2011   Allied Works Architecture Brad Cloepfil: Occupation, published by
​                Gregory R. Miller & Co.
2010   Overland: Photographs by Victoria Sambunaris, Lannan Foundation,
​                essay by William Fox, published by Twelvetrees
2010   Living Architecture Greatest American Houses of the 20th Century,
​                published by Assouline
2008   Deborah Berke, Yale University Press
2007   Responding to Kahn: A Sculptural Conversation, Yale University
​                Art Gallery
           Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff, Yale University
2006   A Place for the Arts: The MacDowell Colony, 1907-2007, edited by
​                Carter Wiseman
2004   Sections thru a Practice: Cesar Pelli & Associates, edited by
​                Raul Barreneche
2001   “Connecticut Hall, Yale University”, US Postal Service, commemorative
​                postal card

2017   Guest Critic, Yale School of Architecture, Thomas Pfifer Studio.
2013-2014   Lecturer, Yale University, School of Art, Undergraduate
​                Photography Department
2001-2006   Lecturer, Yale University, School of Architecture, Graduate
​                Beginning and Advanced Photography
2005   Instructor, Sarah Lawrence College, Beginning Photography
1999   Asst. to Tod Papageorge, Yale University School of Art, Undergraduate
​                Advanced Photography
1998   Asst. to Ed Wortek, Yale Norfolk Summer Program, Photography

2015   Charles Redd Fellowship in Western American Studies, Brigham Young
​                University, Provo, UT
2010   Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship Grant
           Anonymous Was A Woman Award Grant
2000   Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant
1999   George Sakier Memorial Prize
1998   Yale Norfolk Summer Fellowship, Yale School of Art

2016   Guest Curator, Historical Echoes, works from the collection of the
​                Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
           Guest Lecturer, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
2015   Guest Lecturer, University of Texas, El Paso, TX
           Guest Lecturer, Talk Contemporary: Victoria Sambunaris, Seattle
​                Art Museum, Seattle, WA
           Guest Lecturer, In Nature’s Wake: The Art and Politics of Environmental
​                Crisis, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
           Guest Lecturer, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2014   Galveston Artist Residency, Galveston, TX
           Guest Lecturer, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
           Guest Lecturer, Santa Fe University School of Art & Design, Santa Fe, NM
           Guest Lecturer, Camera Club, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
2013   Guest Lecturer, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
           New Roots Foundation Residency, Antigua, Guatemala
2012   Guest Lecturer with Matthew Coolidge, Picturing Landscape, Getty
​                Center, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
           Cabaret Cinema: Women and their Cameras, Film Introduction,
​                Rubin Museum, NY
           In Dialogue with Matthew Coolidge (moderated by Peter Tokovsky),
​                The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
           Guest Lecturer, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2011   Guest Lecturer, ICP Education Programs, Photographer’s Lecture
​                Series (moderated by Phillip S. Block), NY
           Guest Lecturer, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Lancaster, PA
           Guest Lecturer, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA
2010   Ucross Foundation Residency, Clearmont, WY
           Santa Fe Art Institute Artist in Residence, Santa Fe, NM
2009   Conversation with Bill Gilbert, New Mexico Museum of Art (moderated
​                by Joe Traugott), Santa Fe, NM
2004   Center for Land Use Interpretation Residency, Wendover, NV
2002   Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Marfa, TX

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

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