Robert Polidori

Born 1951
Hometown Montreal, Canada
Lives and Works Santa Monica, California
Education
M.A., Film, State University of New York, Buffalo, 1980

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

Château de Versailles, Versailles

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum of Modern Art, New York

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans

The Centre Pompidou, Paris

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Yale University, New Haven

Robert Polidori is one of the world's most acclaimed photographers of human habitats and environments. His career began in the mid 1980s when he won permission to document the restoration of the Château de Versailles, beginning a love affair with the palace that has continued to this day. As staff photographer for The New Yorker, he was commissioned to photograph New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Many of these images were subsequently exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 


Polidori masterfully utilizes the slow shutter speeds of a large format camera to capture the contemplative qualities of beauty and stillness in the places he photographs. He thinks of rooms as a metaphor for vessels for memory, of places marked by the shadows of past and present lives. He has captured the legacy of war in Beirut, the devastation both inside the Chernobyl nuclear plant and in the nearby town of Pripyet (Zones of Exclusion, Steidl, 2003). His best-known work was done in Havana, also on commission by The New Yorker. There he captured the dusty stateliness of Castro's Havana (Havana, Steidl, 2001), particularly the wear and decay of the interiors of the city’s august private homes.


Polidori has exhibited his photographs in a number of exhibitions and institutions, including Edwynn Houk Gallery, Zurich, Erie Art Museum, Erie, Pennsylvania, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, Flowers Gallery, London, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Motreal, Ogden Museum, New Orleans, LA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others.


 Courtesy of The Lapis Press

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