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Swimmers, Pyramid Lake, from the series "Desert Cantos VII: Desert Seas"


1987, printed 2006


Richard Misrach
American, born 1949

About this artwork

Renowned for his lush color photographs, Richard Misrach has been making beautiful pictures of complicated landscapes for several decades. His Desert Cantos—an ongoing series of images of the desert, structured in chapters like Ezra Pound’s Cantos—treat floods, fires, and clouds, as well the human scarring of the land and its inhabitants, from nuclear test sites to pits of dead and decaying animals. This scene of Pyramid Lake, Nevada, also entranced explorers of the American West in 19th-century surveys with its strange geological features.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Richard Misrach


Swimmers, Pyramid Lake, from the series "Desert Cantos VII: Desert Seas"


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1987


Chromogenic print


21 of 25


Inscribed recto, below image, lower left, in black ink: "21/25 SWIMMERS, PYRAMID LAKE"; signed and inscribed recto, below image, lower right, in black ink: "Richard Misrach 1987/2006 K.E. [?]"; unmarked verso


Image: 46.2 × 59 cm (18 1/4 × 23 1/4 in.); Paper: 50.5 × 60.8 cm (19 15/16 × 23 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Bernard M. and Caryl H. Susman

Reference Number



© Richard Misrach

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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