Grand Coulee Dam, Douglas County, WA (#17)

Toshio Shibata (Japanese, born in 1949)


Image: 92.4 x 114.9 cm (36 3/8 x 45 1/4 in.) Sheet: 104.5 x 128.9 cm (41 1/8 x 50 3/4 in.) Framed: 114.3 x 134 x 5.1 cm (45 x 52 3/4 x 2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View


Asia, Contemporary Art, Photography



In Shibata’s Grand Coulee Dam, the dam itself, while powerfully present, is scarcely visible. Water flows over an immense surface in converging streams and columns, its inexorable rush in tension with the massive structure that holds it back. The vertiginous view is intentionally disorienting, with trails of foam easily misread as calligraphic clouds. The enormous size of the print showcases the confrontation between the natural and artificial worlds, reduced to an abstract idea of force and power.


Verso, stamped in blk ink, ctr: Photo & Print by; and signed in pencil: T. Shibata
Verso, in pencil, l.r.: 4/10
Verso, stamped in black ink: (c) Toshio Shibata


The artist; Laurence Miller Gallery, New York; from whom purchased March 24, 1999.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by John and Olivia Parker


© Toshio Shibata