Clic Gallery is proud to present ASYLUM: PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRISTOPHER PAYNE. The show will run from April 13 to May 23rd, 2010. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 pm on Thursday, April 15.
Massive state-funded mental hospitals, many of them among the largest and most elaborate structures ever erected in America, were a prominent feature of the American landscape for more than a century. Once sources of civic pride before becoming warehouses of neglect, the asylums were emptied towards the end of last century, and now sit crumbling, keeping their secrets. Many of them are already gone. Architectural photographer CHRISTOPHER PAYNE was granted unprecedented access to document the abandoned buildings and interiors over a period of six years, and the resulting book, ASYLUM: INSIDE THE CLOSED WORLD OF MENTAL HOSPITALS (MIT Press, 2009), has become something of a phenomenon, touching people in unexpected ways. Remarkable both as photojournalism and as art, the images of ASYLUM are elegiac, emotionally gripping, and possessed of a cinematic sensibility. Payne’s photographs have been praised by THE NEW YORKER for their “eerie beauty” and by THE NEW YORK TIMES, which said, “What distinguishes Mr. Payne’s work is not only his knowing documentation of architectural features but his eye for the telling human detail.”
A graduate of Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania, CHRISTOPHER PAYNE trained and practiced as an architect before turning to photography. In addition to ASYLUM, he is the author of NEW YORK’S FORGOTTEN SUBSTATIONS: THE POWER BEHIND THE SUBWAY (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002). ASYLUM is his first gallery show in New York.