A thematic presentation of significant recent work in photography that examines and expands the conventional definitions of the medium. As traditional photographic techniques are being quickly replaced by digital technologies, the artists included here examine the process and structure of making photographs. Walead Beshty, Daniel Gordon, Leslie Hewitt, Carter Mull, Sterling Ruby, Sara VanDerBeek.
Each fall, the exhibition has presented significant bodies of contemporary work of two to four artists. This year, New Photography has expanded to highlight the work of six artists, with some 20 works of photography. It is organized by Eva Respini, Associate Curator, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.
Since its inception in 1985, the New Photography series has introduced the work of over 68 artists from 15 countries. The series continues to highlight the Museum’s commitment to the work of less familiar artists and seeks to represent the most interesting accomplishments in contemporary photography. New Photography has featured such influential artists as Robin Rhode (2005), Olafur Eliasson (1998), Rineke Dijkstra (1997), Thomas Demand (1996), and Philip-Lorca diCorcia (1986), among many others.
Explains Ms. Respini, “As the photographic medium is rapidly transforming, the artists included in this exhibition question what it means to make a photograph in the twenty-first century. Diverse in their points of view, these artists collectively examine and expand the conventional definitions of the medium of photography.”
Although each artist in the exhibition represents different working methods and pictorial modes ranging from abstract to representational, their pictures all begin in the studio or the darkroom and result from processes involving collection, assembly, and manipulation. Many of the works are made with everyday materials and objects, and use images culled from the Internet, magazines, newspapers, and books. In addition, most of these artists are active in other disciplines, and their photographs relate to drawing, sculpture, video, and installation.
Among the separate bodies of work shown here, relationships and contrasts inevitably suggest themselves. For example, Leslie Hewitt and Sterling Ruby make pictures from other pictures to examine the ways that cultural values and meaning are imbedded in photographs. Daniel Gordon and Sara VanDerBeek build temporary sculptures using found images, which exist only to be photographed. Walead Beshty and Carter Mull experiment with the process of making pictures to reflect on the fundamental characteristics of the medium.
The Robert and Joyce Menschel Photography Gallery, third floor.
The New Photography series is made possible by JGS, Inc.