Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce an exhibition of new large-scale photographs by Gregory Crewdson. In this latest body of work, made over the past three years, the artist continues his exploration of the fertile edges of the American vernacular – now with less of a focus on character and drama and a greater emphasis on atmosphere and setting.
Here, Crewdson steps back from the themes of confrontation and psychological turmoil that marked much of his earlier work to create a more subdued take on his trademark terrain of small-town disquiet. His careful orchestration of light in both interior and exterior scenes serves to draw the viewer into the images, deepening the sense of displacement and solitude. The windows, doorways and mirrors in these settings act as framing devices, creating a layer of separation; inviting, yet ultimately inaccessible. The exterior images, which predominate here, present small figures adrift in still and silent vistas, while the interiors depict people in moments of deep reflection. Throughout these scenes, Crewdson’s subjects are captured at points of liminal anticipation – perched between the “before” and “after”- drawing upon a notion of voyeurism.
These haunting images were made over four productions, in a cyclical process – from winter, into summer, back to winter and into summer again. Crewdson’s first ever winter pictures portray barren snow-covered landscapes diffused by a cold gray light. In contrast, the summer images are intensely lush and colorful and depict romantic scenes of youthful adventure, discovery, and sexual exploration. In all of Crewdson’s pictures, the choice of location- desolate passageways, dimly lit houses, hotel rooms, railroad tracks, trailer parks- underscores the inherent theme of rootlessness and loneliness. Crewdson’s photographs bring to mind the austerity of American realists such as Edward Hopper and Walker Evans, filtered through the damp, saturated colors in the work of American Luminist painters such as Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt.
Gregory Crewdson is an internationally exhibited artist whose photographs are included in numerous museums and public collections around the world. From 2005 to 2008 a retrospective of his work traveled to museums across Europe, including the Kunstverein Hannover, Germany, the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and the Hasselblad Center, Sweden. He is on the faculty of the Department of Photography at Yale University and lives in New York City.
This body of photographs concludes Crewdson’s Beneath the Roses series, the entirety of which is being published in a book by Harry N. Abrams in conjunction with this exhibition.