The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents PhotoPoetics: An Anthology, an exhibition documenting recent developments in contemporary photography and consisting of photographs, videos, and slide installations by ten international artists. With more than 70 works by Claudia Angelmaier, Erica Baum, Anne Collier, Moyra Davey, Leslie Hewitt, Elad Lassry, Lisa Oppenheim, Erin Shirreff, Kathrin Sonntag, and Sara VanDerBeek, the exhibition runs from November 20, 2015–March 23, 2016, and presents a focused study into the nature, traditions, and magic of photography in the context of the rapid digital transformation of the medium.
Organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, with Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Photo-Poetics: An Anthology offers an opportunity to define the concerns of a new generation of photographic artists and contextualize their work within the history of art and visual culture. These artists mainly pursue a studio-based approach to still-life photography that centers on the representation of objects, often printed matter such as books, magazines, and record covers. The result is often an image imbued with poetic and evocative personal significance that resonates with larger cultural and historical meanings.
The artists in the exhibition attempt to rematerialize the photograph through meticulous printing, using film and other disappearing photo technologies. Drawing on the legacies of Conceptualism and invested in exploring the processes and techniques of photography, they are also deeply interested in how photographic images circulate. Theirs is a sort of “photo poetics,” an art that self-consciously investigates the laws of photography and the nature of photographic representation, reproduction, and the photographic object. The works in the exhibition, rich with detail, reward close and prolonged regard; they ask for a mode of looking that is closer to reading than the cursory scanning fostered by the clicking and swiping functionalities of smartphones and social media. Both the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue are conceived as anthologies, as independent vehicles to introduce each artist’s important and unique practice.
This exhibition is supported in part by Affirmation Arts Fund and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
The Leadership Committee for Photo-Poetics: An Anthology is gratefully acknowledged for its support, with special thanks to Erica Gervais and Ted Pappendick and Chair Rona Citrin as well as to Angelo K H Chan and Frederick Wertheim, Manuel de Santaren, Toby Devan Lewis, Ann and Mel Schaffer, Patty and Howard Silverstein, Cristina von Bargen, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Ann Cook and Charley Moss, Susan and Arthur Fleischer, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Lauren and Scott Pinkus, and Barbara Toll.
Additional funding is also provided by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Photography Committee.
About the Catalogue
Photo-Poetics: An Anthology is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring an introduction, afterword, and ten monographic essays by Jennifer Blessing that provide focused, contemplative readings of each artist’s work. The catalogue’s design, in which each artist’s practice is presented individually, reflects the exhibition’s structure as a series of solo presentations. The catalogue will be available for $50 at the Guggenheim Store and online at guggenheimstore.org.
Education and Public Programs
To coincide with the exhibition, the Guggenheim will host a series of panel discussions featuring the participating artists. Moderated by Jennifer Blessing, these conversations will address the issues raised by the exhibition. Each discussion will be preceded by short talks from the featured artists. Details about the public programs presented in conjunction with Photo-Poetics: An Anthology will be posted on guggenheim.org/calendar.
About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.
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