Artist: Sarah Charlesworth
Venue: Maccarone, New York
Exhibition Title: Objects of Desire: 1983 – 1988
Date: April 25 – June 21, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Sarah Charlesworth Estate and Maccarone, New York
Maccarone is honored to present Sarah Charlesworth Objects of Desire, 1983 – 1988, a seminal series that not only shaped the foundation of Charlesworth’s own practice, but for subsequent generations of artists engaging with the medium of photography. This is the gallery’s first exhibition of the artist, on view from April 25th – June 21, 2014 at 630 Greenwich St, NY.
Objects of Desire is a five-part extended series which explores the iconography of popular culture and the desires and values it supports. Sub-series focus on the color and formal attributes of specific cultural arenas. These works address the language of gender and sexuality, popular conceptions of nature, religion and spirituality, as well as the framing of material desire. All works in the series are Cibachrome prints with matching lacquer frames. This exhibition is the first occasion various works from each of the five-part series have been brought together.
In making Objects of Desire, Charlesworth extracted a wide range of images from books and magazines, including contemporary fashion, symbolic animals, ancient statuary, and emblems of power. She then re-photographed the images against solid color backgrounds, presenting the results in matching frames. With the introduction of new colors with each sub-series, Charlesworth’s subject matter was framed by another layer of symbolic context, i.e. red as sexuality, yellow as material desire, blue as metaphysical longing, green as nature, or black as the unknown.
In all of Charlesworth’s work, the proportions of positive to negative space, the color and the scale and position of elements introduce layers of significance. The meaning of each work is formed through the placement of the specific elements. In Charlesworth’s own words:
“There’s something about the surface of a photograph, how it acts, and about the coherence of photographic illusion that both fascinates and disturbs me. To me, there’s something mysterious about what’s physically there and how it acts on our psyches…how it connects us to some other thing—to a chair, a human being, to a different reference point, a moment in time, and finally, to desire itself.”
— interview with David Deitcher, Afterimage, Summer 1984
Sarah Charlesworth exhibited widely in the US and abroad with over 50 solo exhibitions, and a traveling museum retrospective in 1998 (organized by SITE, Santa Fe). Charlesworth taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in NY, Rhode Island School of Design and Princeton University. Charlesworth’s work appears in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, NY, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, NY, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MOCA, Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and many more. Her work is currently featured in the Whitney Biennial 2014. A solo exhibition at The Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago will open in September 2014.