I have always been charmed by Anne Collier’s wit. While at first glace her work has a minimalist, almost clinical, aesthetic, there is always an underlying wry sense of humor. She uses the techniques of commercial product photography to re-photograph record covers, books, magazines, and other printed ephemera in her studio. The results are always meticulously clean—almost like a forensic picture offered up for scrutiny. The way she photographs books, calendars, and magazines and then blows them up to monumental scale also makes the objects take on a sculptural quality. In the photographs on view at MoMA in New Photography 2012, we selected works that are about the act of seeing and photographing.
I couldn’t resist including Collier’s 2011 work Veterans Day (Nudes, 1972 Appointment Calendar, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Edward Weston), of a 1972 MoMA appointment calendar featuring nudes from the Museum’s collection. The artist chose to display the calendar open to the last week in October, paired with an image of Weston’s famous nude of his young son Neil. This work, paired with Woman with Cameras #1 (2012), of a photography trade publication featuring a nude woman as a backdrop to help sell cameras, not only demonstrates the artist’s fascination with all things printed in the face of the pending obsolesce of the printed page, but also bears Collier’s signature critically wry approach to the medium and its history.
New Photography 2012 is on view in the Museum’s third-floor Photography Galleries through February 4, 2013.