- Old Ruth Pit, Ely NV, #2, 2006
- Ore Samples, Old Ruth Pit, Ely NV No 1 , 2006
- C Block Wyoming Frontier Prison No 3, 2007
- Compressor, Caselton, NV No 1, 2007
- Gas Chamber, Wyoming Frontier Prison, #4, 2007
- Office, Caselton NV, No 1, 2007
- Shower, Pioche NV, #2, 2007
- Sun Room, Wyoming Frontier Prison , 2007
- Changing Room, Eureka NV, #9, 2008
- Generatior House, Eureka NV No 3, 2008
- Generator House, Eureka NV, No 4 , 2008
- Hoist House, Eureka NV No 4, 2008
- Machine Shop, Eureka NV, #6, 2008
- Chair, Small Room, Penitentiary New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM, #1, 2009
- Death Row Cell Block, Penitentiary New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM, #2, 2009
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #5, 2009
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #50, 2009
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #59, 2009
- Mattresses in Cell Block, Penitentiary New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM No 2, 2009
- Psychiatric Ward, Penitentiary New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM, #3, 2009
- Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH No 15 , 2011
- Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH No 2, 2011
- Cell Block, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH No 30, 2011
- Shower, Mansfield State Reformatory, Mansfield, H No 3, 2011
- Shower, Yerington NV, #5, 2011
- Shower, Yerington NV, #5., 2011
- Wrecked Lab, Yerington NV, No 2, 2011
- XXX, 2011
- Cell, Housing Unit 4, Missouri State Penitentiary No 9, 2012
- Gas Chamber With Two Chairs, Missouri State Penitentiary, #3, 2012
- Holmesburg Prison, Philadelphia, PA No 12, 2012
- Shot Up Car, Denay Valley, NV #6 , 2012, 2012
- Abandoned Dayton Mill, Silver City, NV No 22, 2013
- Corroded Vehicle, Rachel, NV #1 , 2013, 2013
- Rail Car, Portola, CA, #21 (Numbers) , 2013, 2013
- Rail Car, Portola, CA, #28 (Repairs), 2013
- Rail Car, Portola, CA, #42 , 2013, 2013
- Tank, Donovan Mill, Silver City, NV No 5, 2013
- Mill Interior, Nevada Scheelite Mine, Mineral County, NV No 13, 2015
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #135, 2016
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #194, 2016
- House, Wonder Valley, Mojave Desert, CA, #299, 2017
- Rusted Vehicle, Diamond Valley, NV, #16 , 2017, 2017
"In haunting interiors depicting hard-to-access sites in which the delicate qualities of natural light are contrasted with profound and irreversible decay, Saloutos illustrates the corrosive beauty to be found in the abandoned and collapsing."- Michael Wilson
There’s a perverse attraction to abandoned sites and tumbledown buildings that has long made them a favorite subject for artists. From the melancholic vistas of eighteenth-century printmaker Giovanni Piranesi to the haunting non-buildings of contemporary sculptor Rachel Whiteread, ruins have frequently appeared as allegories for human instability, loss, and the inexorable passage of time. It doesn’t hurt that the subject also tends to offer up unexpected colors and textures, as the operation of damage and decay reveals aspects of their makeup that are ordinarily hidden from view.
In the photographs of Lee Saloutos, the visual and symbolic power of such places is further enhanced by the artist’s ability to foreground striking contrasts between the quality of light within a given space and what we know of its history. Saloutos’s shots of abandoned prisons, for example, show how in these desolate sites, the darkest of human stories are combined with formal beauty. They also detail the tendency of the earth to reclaim its territory. Bringing a photojournalist’s approach to bear on such projects—he undertakes lengthy shoots requiring difficult access—Saloutos builds an ongoing, open-ended narrative around architecture, society, and the natural world.
In other work, Saloutos adopts a tighter focus, directing his attention at surfaces—most often artificial ones—in luscious close-up shots that keep their subjects sources and contexts under wraps. In these photographs’ concentration on vivid color, rich texture, and occasional fragments of text, there are hints of modernist abstract painting; there are echoes too of projects like the Boyle Family’s “Journey to the Surface of the Earth” and great photographic series such as Brassaï’s mid-century “Graffiti.” In thus varying his perspective, Saloutos conjures an affecting composite portrait of the American nation in context, and a panorama of a world that is always interlinked in time and space.
"As a whole, the art of Saloutos is in his ability to see, through the lens of his camera, a world that embodies the cycle of life of the non-living. He understands how nature
reclaims, how the planet and its climate reigns, and how the sun both wreaks havoc and illuminates the darkness of the dying and forgotten."
- D. Dominick Lombardi
Drawing on 35 years of experience to produce lush, detailed photographic prints, Lee Saloutos specializes in color landscape and architectural imagery, also focusing on the textured surfaces that result from the gradual weathering of man-made structures. He claims no political or conceptual agenda, but commits himself to immersion in locations and subjects over the course of dedicated weeks-long shoots, resulting in bodies of work that often have a documentary or investigative quality, and which resonate in particular with the decline of certain aspects of American industry and culture.
In 1977, having spent three years in the Fine Arts program at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Saloutos graduated with a BS in electrical engineering but continued to take photographs while working professionally as an engineer. He has always favored traditional photographic film and performed his own scanning and printing. In spite of his scientific background, Saloutos has little interest in photographic technology for its own sake and looks to painters as much as to other photographers for inspiration.
Saloutos has been the subject of solo exhibitions at galleries, museums, and other venues including Lazarro Signature Gallery (2001); Artspace Gallery, Richmond, VA (2003 and 2007); Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA (2010 and 2014); Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY (2012); Saint Mary's College Museum of Art, Moraga, CA (2013); and the Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, CA (2018). His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at venues including Artspace Gallery, Page Bond Gallery, and 1212 Gallery (all Richmond, VA); Louisville Center for the Arts, Louisville, CO; Martin Museum of Art, Waco, TX; Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA; Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin, MO; and Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS.
Saloutos's work is included in numerous private, public, and corporate collections including those of the Department of State, Washington, D. C.; Churchill Art Center, Fallon, NV; and Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY; as well as in several based in Richmond, VA, including the Federal Reserve Bank, American Infrastructure, Hourigan Construction, and Capitol One. Saloutos is also the winner of several awards and competitions including second place in the Natioanl Juried Photography Exhibition at 1212 Gallery, Richmond, VA; first place in the architecture category at the 5th Annual Pollux Awards, WPGA, York, UK (2014); and silver in architecture and industrial at the Moscow International Foto Awards (2019). His work has been published and written about in journals including B&W + Color, The Photo Review, SHOTS, eXel, and Lenscratch.
Lee Saloutos is represented by Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA.
The End is NearFive Contemporary Photographers curated by D. Dominick Lombardi 12 Sep 2021 - 31 May 2022The End is Near With or without a pandemic, it is natural for many of us to often think worst-case scenario in a number of situations. It comes with the territory as we go through life exposed to news broadcasts, social media snippets or through casual conversations that direct our...
Lee SaloutosNevada Mines, American Prisons 21 Mar - 30 Nov 2021The results of carefully researched, weeks-long shoots in locations across the country that are frequently isolated and forbidding, the landscape, interior, and close-up surface images produced by veteran photographer Lee Saloutos are highly detailed and richly atmospheric. These are works that transport the viewer to locations that, while usually unidentified,...
Cross Contemporary Partners Inaugural Group Exhibition Part IIVirtual Gallery Exhibit 17 Sep 2020 - 31 Oct 2021Cross Contemporary Partners opens another new virtual art exhibition space dedicated to the digital representation of artwork on the internet. The Cross Contemporary Partners Inaugural Group Exhibition Part II presents nine established artists whose distinguished careers span decades. The artists: Sarah Hinckley , Bassmi Ibrahim , Anne Marchand , Stewart...
2019 JRNL, Issue 3, 2019, Guest Editor Joanna Milter, Director of Photography, The New Yorker
2016 Edge of Humanity, Nov 2016, “America's Abandoned Prisons”
2015 The Photo Review, Vol 31, No. 1, 2015, Competition Issue
2014 Politico (online magazine), (prisons imagery, photo essay on death penalty)
2014 prisonphotography.org, (prisons portfolio and interview)
2014 Photo+, (Korean Photography Magazine) (prisons portfolio and interview)
2014 Lenscratch, an online photography journal (prisons portfolio)
2014 CLOG, an architecture journal, special issue on prisons. CLOG, New York, NY
2014 eXel Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014, Inaugural Issue (two pages)
2013 Scapes Spaces (exhibit catalog), Churchill Arts Council, Fallon, NV
2013 Portfolio Showcase Volume 6, Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft Collins, CO
2012 SHOTS Magazine, Dec 2012, Annual Portfolio Issue
2012 The Photo Review, Dec 2012, Competition Issue
2011 B&W + Color Magazine, October 2011, Special Color Issue
2010 Photo Center Northwest Annual Publication, Seattle, WA
2009 Best in Photography, Photographer's Forum Magazine, Santa Barbara, CA