Tag Archives: Guggenheim

Art in the 1970s: Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman

On the occasion of the first comprehensive survey of work from the extremely brief but prolific career of American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981), the Guggenheim Museum presents Art in the 1970s: Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman. The program examines the relationship between the still and moving image in Woodman’s and other artists’ production during the 1970s, particularly as associated with Post-Minimalism, performance, and video.

The program is organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, and includes conversations led by an esteemed roster of acclaimed contemporary artists and scholars: George Baker, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles, Jane Blocker, Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, William Kaizen, Assistant Professor of Art History and Media Studies, Northeastern University, Moyra Davey, an artist and photographer, based in New York, and Joan Jonas, acclaimed multi-media performance artist.

Francesca Woodman is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where the exhibition was on view earlier this year. You can find a video walkthrough of that show shot on January 2, 2012 on YouTube.

Art in the 1970s: Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman

Friday, May 184:00 pm
$10, $7 members, FREE for students with a valid ID
To reserve a student ticket, please [email protected]


›› Read more about Woodman’s “deeply personal photographic revelations” in critic David Levi Strauss’ Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture 2003).

›› View a slideshow of images from the exhibition at Guggenheim on The New York Times website, after which you can read Ken Johnson’s review of the show.


Francesca Woodman Retrospective at the Guggenheim

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Exhibition Photos by David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The first comprehensive survey of work from the extremely brief but prolific career of American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958-1981) to be shown in North America is now on view at the Guggenheim Museum (through June 13, 2012).

More than thirty years after Woodman’s suicide at the age of 22–often one of the first things people recall about the artist–the exhibition offers an occasion for the “historical reconsideration of her work and its reception.”

Over 120 vintage photographs on view were culled from her estate of 800 prints and over 10,000 negatives, which is managed by her parents. They span her early experimental responses to class assignments completed while she was still enrolled at RISD in the mid-seventies, to the large-scale blueprint studies of her Temple project from 1980. The exhibition also includes six of her recently discovered and rarely seen short videos, as well as two of her artist books.

Her black-and-white images, dark, ethereal and moody, softened and blurred through the use of a long exposure time, are remarkably coherent explorations of herself, and sometimes other women, in very particular environments.

The Times‘ Ken Johnson calls it a “borderline kitschy style, a heady mix of Victorian Gothic, Surrealism and 19th-century spirit photography,” exploring the non-documentary realm of photography in a manner reminiscent of some of her contemporaries, including Cindy Sherman.

They were taken mostly with a medium format 6×6 camera and printed at 8×10″ or smaller, adding a timeless or antique quality, and necessitating a physically intimate viewing experience.

So “strong, particular, personal and tragic,” is her work, British art dealer Anthony d’Offay, who acquired 18 of her prints from the artist’s boyfriend, says in a video interview, “that you have to confront elements of yourself which perhaps sometimes you’ve avoided.”

—–

On Friday, May 18, 2012, the Guggenheim is hosting a symposium on “Art in the 1970s: Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman,” examining the relationship between the still and moving image in Woodman’s and other artists’ production during the 1970s, particularly as associated with Post-Minimalism, performance, and video, organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography.

Francesca Woodman is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where the exhibition was on view earlier this year. You can find a video walkthrough of that show shot on January 2, 2012 on YouTube.

Read more about Woodman’s “deeply personal photographic revelations” in critic David Levi Strauss’ Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture 2003).

View a slideshow of images from the exhibition at Guggenheim on The New York Times website, after which you can read Ken Johnson’s review of the show.

Exhibition on view:
March 13 – June 13, 2012

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
(at 89th Street)
New York, NY 10128-0173

Gilbert & George: “Two Men, One Artist”

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    Bloody Life, 1975

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    Black Church Face, 1980

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    Hellish, 1980

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    Finding God, 1982

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    Winter Flowers, 1982

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    Youth Faith, 1982

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    Fear, 1984

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    Here, 1987

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    One Way, 2001

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    Mass, 2005

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore staged one of their first moving sculptures at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 1969, they began a performance that has never ended. The duo met while studying at St. Martin’s School of Art and embarked on what is now a 45-year collaboration, an eccentric, independent perpetual ‘happening,’ exploring what art historian and curator Robert Rosenblum called, “the singularity of their duality.”

On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, dawning customary deadpan expressions, the duo will bring what the UK’s Independent calls “their seamless double-act, walking in step and talking in antiphon, all clothes, habits and opinions synchronised, [sic] all sentences prefixed by a regal ‘we’,” to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for a conversation with novelist and cultural historian Michael Bracewell.

Together known as one Gilbert & George, they’ve produced an enormous body of visceral, often provocative photography-based work—art independent of any school or movement, art of everyday modern urban life, as they deem with their slogan, “Art for All.” Contrary to the work of many contemporary blockbuster artists, their aim is “to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to the people about their life and not about the knowledge of art.”

George and Gilbert with Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures, 1971 – 2005

They manipulate images of architecture, lurid graffiti, shop windows and most often themselves on exceptionally powerful computers in their home studio and print on massive, mural-sized panels, 200 of which made up their monumental 2007 retrospective occupying the entire forth floor at Tate Modern, the largest exhibition by a living artist there yet. In collaboration with Aperture Foundation, Tate Publishing also released a unique, two-volume retrospective monograph joined in one carrying case designed and produced by the artists, Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures, 1971–2005.

In their time together, Gilbert & George have taken tens of thousands of photographs virtually all within walking distance of their East London flat for their art of everyday life. As they often claim, “Nothing happens in the world that doesn’t happen in the East End.” With subject matter covering what the Guardian coupled as “nudity,  bondage, bad language and turds,” and series titles such as Cunt Scum, Naked Shit, New Horny Pictures and Drunk with God, their work has attracted alternatively the outrage and adoration of the media.

Some question it as pure shock value, though Gilbert & George refute this claim, suggesting to the Independent, “We want to un-shock people, and bringing these subjects into the open, allowing them to live and breathe, should un-shock.”

In a four-part video tour of their studio, they say furthermore:

Each of our pictures is a kind of visual love letter from us to the viewer and it is the space between the picture and the viewer that makes art, the thoughts and feelings that go through the person when examining the picture.

Their aim is to confront the viewer with some kind of morality, ambiguous or otherwise, but never to impose. Rather, they explore it together with the viewer.

“We are not sending them to heaven or hell,” says Gilbert in another video interview. “We are sending them,” laughs George, “to the bar instead.”

 

Second Annual Robert Rosenblum Lecture:
Gilbert & George in Conversation with Michael Bracewell
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM
SOLD OUT

Standby tickets may be available if space allows. Please call the Box Office at (212) 423-3587 for more information. $10, $7 members, free for students with a valid ID.

Solomon T. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Rineke Dijkstra Makes the Awkward Sublime

Even before everybody had a digital camera, it was a universal modern skill to take photographs. But more than that, for a long time it’s been a universal skill to be photographed. For several decades now, everybody has known how to put on his or her game face and wait for the click. Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra has become famous by taking that as her point of departure, then wondering what happens when we can’t hold the pose. The answer: a moment of truth. One thing you learn at the new Dijkstra retrospective, currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and moving in June to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, is that no matter how much you try to put on the social mask, it keeps slipping.

After graduating from an Amsterdam art school in 1986, Dijkstra, who is 52, made a living for a while shooting portraits for a Dutch business magazine. It was frustrating work, taking pictures of executives who knew all too well how to keep up their guard. Eventually, she returned to more personal picture-taking. Very quickly, Dijkstra found an international audience. For her breakthrough project in the early ’90s, she persuaded teenagers at beaches in the U.S. and Europe to pose against a bare backdrop of sky, sea and shore. The fascination of those pictures comes partly from the mind’s attempt to reconcile the “timeless” setting with the sometimes awkward, and often futile, attempts by the teens to assume the attitudes of glamor and cool they think the camera requires.

Hoping to catch people with their defenses down, Dijkstra started to photograph them in the aftermath of some exhausting event. She got women to pose soon after giving birth, usually standing naked while they cradled their newborns. By 1994 she was also making portraits of Portuguese forcados—amateur bullfighters who enter the ring in unarmed groups to subdue the bulls bare-handed. She photographed them right after they returned from the fight, bloody, scuffed and dented.

To watch someone evolve from youth into adult awareness, Dijkstra has sometimes followed a single subject for years—a French boy who joins the foreign legion, a Bosnian refugee girl as she grows up in the Netherlands—as his or her life goes through changes. Or, as she did with the kids on beaches, she will go to parks and photograph very contemporary people in a setting that pulls them out of time—but only so far. And to make sure her pictures don’t take on a false timelessness, Dijkstra makes sure each one carries in its title the very real location in which it was taken and the date.

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective is on display from Feb. 18 through May 28 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and will open at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City on June 29.

Photographer #419: Regina DeLuise

Regina DeLuise, 1959, USA, is a fine art photographer based in Baltimore. She received a BFA at State University of New York and an MA at the Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts in Italy. Her poetic images contain a large range of tones and a lot of texture. To achieve this she makes platinum / palladium contact prints from 8×10″ film negatives. 100% rag paper is coated with a light-sensitive chemical and the metals onto which the negative is placed. The large contact prints are soft, dreamy yet strong in expression. Regina has been teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art since 1998. Her work is in various public collections as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Houston Museum of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Photographs have also been shown in numerous exhibitions, mainly in the USA. The following images come from the series Cortona, The Phenomenal World and Guggenheim.

Website: www.reginadeluise.com

Retrospective: Looking Back on Francesca Woodman’s Prolific Career

In a life cut short by suicide at the age of 22, Francesca Woodman created a legacy of work that continues to influence generations of photographers and viewers alike. Her haunting, surrealist black and white self portraits—perhaps best represented in her House series (1975 -1978)— explored the body within space, and Woodman created images where she both confronts and retreats from the viewer by gazing into and camouflaging herself from the lens. The allure of her photographs, which are both candid and exploratory, emerges from their diaristic quality and evokes the range of emotional fluxes of adolescence.

Francesca Woodman / Courtesy George and Betty Woodman and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Many images, such as this self-portrait, entitled Untitled, Rome, 1977–78, have never been shown to the public previous to the exhibition.

Woodman’s career, a thing of prodigy, began at the age of 13. She was born in 1953 to artist parents, George and Betty Woodman, both independently accomplished. Woodman spent much of her early life in the Italian country side, which influenced the rustic, dilapidated settings of the self portraits she made in college at the Rhode Island School of Design. Being young was never a limitation to her image making, but rather, its driving and most provocative force. Upon graduation, Woodman left for New York to enter the city’s art world and delved into fashion photography, but her work never gained success or attention. This led her into an inescapable, deep depression, ultimately contributing to the decision to take her own life.

Though her career spanned less than a decade, Woodman was a prolific artist. Her work, in its most comprehensive collection to date, is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through Feb. 20. The exhibition features a full scope of Woodman’s work, from photographs and video to self-portraits and fashion work. Many of the images—which number around 160 in total—have never been seen by the public and draw from private collections from around the world as well as the collection of the Woodman family. Following its debut in San Francisco, the exhibition will travel to New York and be on view at the Guggenheim from March 16-June 13. An accompanying catalogue, published by DAP, includes essays and writings by the show’s curator, Corey Keller, among others.

Francesca Woodman is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through Feb. 20 and will open at New York’s Guggenheim museum Mar. 16.