Art Watch: “Photo-Poetics: An Anthology” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

November 20, 2015–March 23, 2016

This group exhibition, Photo-Poetics: An Anthology,features more than 70 works by ten artists: Claudia Angelmaier, Erica Baum, Anne Collier, Moyra Davey, Leslie Hewitt, Elad Lassry, Lisa Oppenheim, Erin Shirreff, Kathrin Sonntag, and Sara VanDerBeek.

Lisa Oppenheim The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else, 2006 Slide projection of 15 35 mm slides, continuous loop, dimensions variable Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2009 2009.60

Lisa Oppenheim, The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else, 2006.  Slide projection of 15 35 mm slides, continuous loop, dimensions variable. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2009. 2009.60

Drawing on the legacies of Conceptualism, these artists pursue a largely 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 an image imbued with poetic and evocative personal significance—a sort of displaced self-portraiture—that resonates with larger cultural and historical meanings. Driven by a profound engagement with the medium of photography, these artists investigate the nature, traditions, and magic of photography at a moment characterized by rapid digital transformation. They attempt to rematerialize the photograph through meticulous printing, using film and other disappearing photo technologies, and creating artist’s books, installations, and photo-sculptures.

Leslie Hewitt Riffs on Real Time (3 of 10), 2006–09 Chromogenic print, 76.2 x 61 cm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2010 2010.55

Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time (3 of 10), 2006–09. Chromogenic print, 76.2 x 61 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2010. 2010.55

While they are invested in exploring the processes, supports, 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.

Sara VanDerBeek From the Means of Reproduction, 2007 Chromogenic print, 101.6 x 76.2 cm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee 2007.138 © Sara VanDerBeek

Sara VanDerBeek, From the Means of Reproduction, 2007. Chromogenic print, 101.6 x 76.2 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee 2007.138 © Sara VanDerBeek

Elad Lassry Untitled (Woman, Blond), 2013 Chromogenic print in walnut frame with four-ply silk, 36.8 x 29.2 x 3.8 cm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2013.72 © Elad Lassry

Elad Lassry, Untitled (Woman, Blond), 2013. Chromogenic print in walnut frame with four-ply silk, 36.8 x 29.2 x 3.8 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee, 2013.72. © Elad Lassry

The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will examine an important new development in contemporary photography, offering an opportunity to define the concerns of a younger generation of artists and contextualize their work within the history of art and visual culture.

This exhibition is organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum with Susan Thompson, Assistant Curator. This exhibition is supported in part by Affirmation Arts Fund and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Photography Committee.

Claudia Angelmaier Betty, 2008 Chromogenic print, face-mounted to acrylic, 130 x 100 cm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee with additional funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Aaron M. Tighe, and Rona and Jeffrey Citrin, 2014.122 © Claudia Angelmaier

Claudia Angelmaier, Betty, 2008. Chromogenic print, face-mounted to acrylic, 130 x 100 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee with additional funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Aaron M. Tighe, and Rona and Jeffrey Citrin, 2014.122. © Claudia Angelmaier

The Leadership Committee for Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, chaired by Rona Citrin, is gratefully acknowledged for its support, with special thanks to Erica Gervais and Ted Pappendick as well as to Lisa and Richard Baker, Angelo K H Chan and Frederick Wertheim, Jeffrey Citrin, Manuel de Santaren, Ellen and Richard Kelson, Jill and Peter Kraus, 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, Melissa Schiff Soros, and Barbara Toll.