- The Museum of Modern Art
An exhibition of works that combine two or more photographs is on view in Multiple Images: Photographs Since 1965 from the Collection, which surveys the formal and conceptual possibilities of photographs in combination. Forty-seven works by forty-five artists are drawn from three of the Museum’s curatorial departments, as well as its library.
Since the mid-1960s, when photography’s role in Conceptual art broadened the artistic range of the medium, the ways in which photographs have been used in combination have proliferated. Included in Multiple Images: Photographs Since 1965 from the Collection are works that use multiple imagery for a variety of purposes, such as the narration of a story, the assembly of a collection or catalogue, and the synthesis of a new whole from disparate parts.
Linear arrangements of images in works by Duane Michals, Mac Adams, and Sylvia PIachy, for example, tell simple stories, while a sequence by Michel Krzyzanowski calls attention to the mechanisms by which photographs can imply the passage of time. A pair of before-and-after photographs by Frank Gohlke initially seems to reverse real time.
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Rick Hock, and other artists use a grid form to present catalogues of numerous subjects, inviting comparison and analysis of the constituent elements. Collections of images of facial expressions in works by Lucas Samaras and Bruce Nauman are not catalogues as much as means of evincing the artists’ performance-like explorations of identity.
Multiple images can also be arranged to suggest formal and conceptual synthesis. Thomas Florschuetz photographs details of parts of his body, then enlarges them and combines them to create a powerful new form. Jan Groover creates new visual space by constructing relationships among formal elements of architecture. A work by Annette Messager is a formally cohesive accumulation in which hundreds of images relate in non-linear ways.
Other artists represented in Multiple Images: Photographs Since 1965 from the Collection include Robert Cumming, Sol Lewitt, Neil Winokur, JoAnn Verburg, John Coplans, and Charles Ray.
Organized by Sheryl Conkelton, associate curator, Department of Photography.