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.
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.
Museum Hours: Sun–Wed, 10 am–5:45 pm; Fri, 10 am–5:45 pm; Sat, 10 am–7:45 pm; closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish.
For general information, call 212 423 3500 or visit the museum online at: guggenheim.org
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Tower Levels 2, 4, and 5
Dates: November 20, 2015–March 23, 2016