Exhibitions

MoMA'S "New Photography" Survey Shows the Medium Morphing Into a New Dimension

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 MoMA'S "New Photography" Survey Shows the Medium Morphing Into a New Dimension
Photographs by Eileen Quinlan in the MoMA's "New Photography" show

The Museum of Modern Art's "New Photography" show is the institution's annual state-of-the-medium address and, in many ways, a foretelling of what's to come. The eight young artists selected in MoMA curator Roxana Marcoci's 28th-annual iteration of the show, open through January 6, venture beyond the mere capturing of images to incorporate elements of collage, sculpture, gesturalism, and commercial photographic practices.

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Los Angeles musician-turned-artist Brendan Fowler offers the most explicit example of the convergence of sculpture and photography with his literal smashing together of framed photographs. Each piece compresses a secession of discrete, everyday snapshots into a single moment, and is titled after the season and a tabulation of the images contained within the work.

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Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin continue to push their work into the third dimension with their recent appropriation of Bertolt Brecht's 1955 photo-poem project War Primer. In the duo's update, the artists superimpose images from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sourced from a scattershot array of websites, atop copies of Brecht's original World War II-era tome.

Image 7Eileen Quinlan follows in the found-abstraction tradition of artists like Walead Beshty, who is roughly the same age, with her recent series of photos of a yoga mat sculpted into geometric compositions. Quinlan previously worked for a Clinique cosmetics photographer and has cited the experience as formative in her understanding of the use of lights and gels.

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German analog photographer Annette Kelm also draws from the realm of commercial photography to pose commonplace props against vivid backgrounds, which result in meticulously staged, perspective-bending still-life tableaux.  

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New York photographer Lisa Oppenheim seeks to add poetry to her process by conceiving of unusual and meaningful methods of developing her work. In the past she exposed a series of lunar-themed images to moonlight and, for this new suite at MoMA, she exposed pictures of bombs exploding during World War II to firelight.

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The English conceptualist Josephine Pryde's series of guinea pigs captured in varying states of contemplation at first appears to be a playful experiment in portraiture. But the work more darkly doubles as an exploration into issues such as animal testing, subjectivity and the male gaze.


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Polish artist Anna Ostoya "pseudomorphs" complementary images to create unique new works, such as this shot of a teary model, originally taken by Modernist photographer Germaine Krull, and a still from Bas Jan Ader's 1970 film I'm too sad to tell you


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