Comprised of recent largescale color portraits and images of interiors, the exhibition focuses on Soth’s depiction of the individual, posing questions about what these images reveal about both the sitter and photographer. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, March 21, 6-8pm. The artist will be present.
Celebrated as one of the most important US photographers working today, Alec Soth is known for iconic photographs concentrating on the people and landscapes of suburban and rural communities, often taken during road trips throughout Middle America. In contrast, this new body of work was produced after an extended hiatus during which the artist stopped traveling and photographing to reflect upon and reconsider his creative process. Unlike previous series, which offer a more documentary account of particular locations or individuals, Soth’s new body of work is far more personal. He explains, “When I returned to photography, I wanted to strip the medium down to its primary elements. Rather than trying to make some sort of epic narrative about America, I wanted to simply spend time looking at other people and, hopefully, glimpse their interior life.”
Over the course of one-year Soth photographed individuals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Eastern Europe. All of the pictures are portraits of subjects taken in their own homes or interior spaces. Influenced by the openness of Peter Hujar’s photography, these sensitive images disclose a higher degree of subjectivity and intimacy than is typically found in Soth’s work. Featuring a range of subjects hitherto unknown to the artist who were introduced to him through third parties, the sitters include artists, writers and choreographers, the majority of whom the artist met on his travels. As Soth states, “This project isn’t about geography, nationality, or other ways we conceptually try to understand each other. It’s simply about walking into another person’s room and beholding the fragile, enigmatic beauty of another person’s life.” Beguiling in their simplicity, these photographs stand as quiet meditations on the poetic mysteries unleashed from nothing more than a quiet encounter in a stranger’s room.