Bonni Benrubi Gallery is pleased to present Bodies in Space, an exhibition of photographs by Doug Hall. The exhibition will open on Thursday, June 12, 2014, and will be on view through Saturday, July 25, 2014. Bodies in Space will be Doug Hall's first exhibition with the gallery.
Bodies in Space considers the notion that while we inhabit space we are in turn inhabited by it; that the meaning we derive is informed, at least in part, by our surroundings - how we are oriented and perhaps disoriented within them. We are not immune to the spaces we move through and the photographs in this exhibition depict different sites where such intersections occur, from a street corner in San Francisco to tourist sites in Rome or Yosemite, locations where we become the actors on these stages. In fact, two of the photographs depict actual film locations, Monument Valley was taken on a rise overlooking the site where several well known Westerns including Stagecoach were filmed. Gene Autry Rock in the Alabama Hills was the setting for an ambush in Autry's Boots and Saddles and appears in Hopalong Cassidy's False Colors.
Alongside these socio-landscapes, portraits show people waiting, searching, looking, anticipating; we see them in varying relationships to their surroundings. Individuals and couples are isolated within both urban and rural settings. When seen in combination with the scenic views, these portraits function the way close-ups might in film, breaking the plane of distance and providing proximity if not intimacy. Their presence also alters the rhythm in which we move among and between the pictures. In contrast, Hall's photographs of people assembled in groups do not depict a single instance but are composites of multiple exposures, spanning several hours. In this sense each photograph is a temporal palimpsest, a carefully choreographed re-staging in which individuals are placed both in specific relation to one another and to their immediate surroundings.
Doug Hall received his B.A. in 1966 from Harvard University where he studied Anthropology. In 1969 he received his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture of The Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. His work in diverse media has been exhibited in museums in the United States and Europe and is included in numerous private and public collections. A selection of public collections includes the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Contemporary Art Museum, Chicago, The Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Berkeley Museum of Art, University of California, Berkeley, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Vienna, and The Whitney Museum, New York. Among the grants and fellowships that he has received are those from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The Fulbright Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Guggenheim Foundation. He is Professor Emeritus at The San Francisco Art Institute where he taught from 1980 until 2008. Currently he is Visiting Artist, Graduate Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco.