Baer Ridgway Exhibitions is pleased to present EVEREST, a selection of Mount Everest aerial photographs taken in late 1983 by William Thompson on assignment for National Geographic Magazine. These photographs represent the first and only complete aerial imagery ever taken of Mount Everest. These images were created in the cauldron of ongoing geopolitical intrigue. To overfly Tibet required a delicate and difficult navigation of the political, social and religious landscapes of China, India, Tibet and Nepal. This was accomplished through ten years of building partnerships and personal ties through the efforts of the Boston Museum of Science and the National Geographic Society.
The sublime beauty of these images illuminates that while this is some of the most perilous terrain on the planet it is also some of the most architecturally beautiful. The peril exists not only for the mountaineer who climbs these peaks but also for the photographer (and pilots) as the process of making these images at extreme altitudes was enormously dangerous.
These images represent a fresh and rare view of the border between emerging superpowers and their often vulnerable smaller neighbors. In this geopolitical scenario, each player has greatly varying perspectives, histories and agendas. It is this composite and comparison of the unflinching beauty, danger and immensity of the natural world within such a politically contested landscape that makes these photographs so compelling. Thompson holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oregon, where he wrote his dissertation on Visual Learning and the process of making visual value judgments. He received his BA in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Painting from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Thompson worked as a photographer with National Geographic for 12 years covering such stories as the extinction of the world's elephants, Bhutan's people and geography, the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, and Alaska's powerful unrelenting wilderness. More information and images can be viewed on our website: www.baerridgway.com BRX is located at 172 Minna (between 3rd and New Montgomery) in downtown San Francisco, next to the SFMOMA. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00am to 6:00pm.