Forty Eight States
By the age of twelve, Gaudiani had visited forty eight states by car and train. Forty Eight States emerged over three years of travel through the United States by train, car and plane and decades of travel through all forty eight states. For this series, she retraced old routes and memories from the Fifties reflecting on endless possibilities, missed opportunities, fleeting intimacies, reflections on a life. The road trip is her defining passion and an iconic rite for many Americans. The photographs capture a timeless America - one that is no longer there as it was in the Fifties, yet remains through the linkage of knowledge, memory and photograph. The images are both specific and conceptual. In Forty Eight States the American landscape is seen well vertically and framed, not in the more traditional sweeping horizontal mode. Perhaps they can be seen as photographic updates of the Hudson River School, or paintings by Frederick Church and Thomas Cole. They evoke a dreamy, romantic yearning for the land and what it means to be an American in the landscape, sometimes part of and sometimes estranged from the places we hold in our memories.
LensCulture says “...the worlds that pass before our eyes (in nostalgic black-and-white) could be right out of a Jack Kerouac novel.”
The San Jose Museum of Art’s Road Trip exhibition notes “Photographers Candace Plummer Gaudiani and Catherine Opie methodically document their surroundings, often searching for remnants of the past.”
Amber Whiteside, Artweek 2007 writes “Gaudiani’s series…is narrative and intimate, as her work has always been, though it departs from her usual portraits of people…like vintage photos, none…identify a specific place… but are vague and idealized enough to conjure memories for every viewer… (They)… speak to a human condition of place and time, and our attempts – often futile – to measure, memorialize, and revisit…a meditation on movement through time.”