The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Ballenesque – Roger Ballen: A Retrospective, a solo exhibition featuring the works of US-Born/South African based artist, Roger Ballen. Best known for his probing, often challenging images that exist in a space between painting, drawing, installation, and photography, Ballen has achieved global recognition with a series of startling monographs and exhibitions spanning four decades. Our exhibition, which coincides with Ballen’s newly released publication of the same name (Thames & Hudson) is based on an entirely new appraisal of Ballen's archive, with a view well beyond his monographic projects.
This exhibition draws from more than 300 key images, including a selection of never-before-seen photographs, presenting a thorough exploration of style, and the particular qualities of Ballen’s work which make each creation so recognizably his own.
The book, Ballenesque and portion of our exhibition trace a chronological journey through Ballen's entire oeuvre divided into four periods. Part I explores Ballen's formative artistic influences and his later rediscovery of boyhood through photography, culminating in his first published monograph, Boyhood, in 1979. Part II charts the period between 1980 and 2000, during which time he released his seminal monograph Outland. Part III covers the years 2000-2013, when Ballen achieved global recognition and his work began to veer away from portraiture altogether. Finally, in Part IV, Ballen reflects on his career.
Roger Ballen (b. 1950) is one of the most important photographers of his generation. He was born in New York in 1950 but has been living and working in South Africa for over 30 years. Over the past thirty years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In his earlier works his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as ‘ballenesque’.