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“Larry Schwarm’s photographs of fire on the prairie are so compelling that I cannot imagine any later photographer trying to do better. His pictures convince us that seemingly far away events are close by, relevant to any serious person’s life.”—Robert Adams
On Fire is a mesmerizing series of photographs of prairie fires that transport us from moments of almost apocalyptic splendor to the stillness of near abstraction. For nearly two decades Kansas-based photographer Larry Schwarm has been making extraordinary color photographs of the dramatic prairie fires that sweep across the vast grasslands of his native state each spring. Fire is an essential element of the ecosystem. Every spring, the expanses of tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of east-central Kansas undergo controlled burning. For Schwarm, documenting these fires has become a passion. He captures the essence of the fires and their distinct personalities—ranging from calm and lyrical to angry and raging—and his photos allow us to see the redemptive power of fire and to remove ourselves from its tragic elements. Schwarm connects the enormous power and devastation of fire to what can only be identified as another kind of creation—the creation of beauty.
On Fire has been widely reviewed; the book is in its second printing.
To read reviews of On Fire, visit PRESS
On Fire by Larry Schwarm
Published by Duke University Press and the Center for Documentary Studies
2003 | 128 pages | 10 x 10 | 68 color photographs
ISBN 978-0-8223-3208-4 | cloth $39.95
Available at bookstores or from Duke University Press