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Sean Kelly exhibits recent large-scale color portraits and images of interiors by Alec Soth
Installation view of Alec Soth: I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating at Sean Kelly, New York March 21 - April 27, 2019 Photography: Jason Wyche, New York Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sean Kelly is presenting Alec Soth’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating. Comprised of recent large-scale color portraits and images of interiors, the exhibition focuses on Soth’s depiction of the individual, posing questions about what these images reveal about both the sitter and photographer.

Celebrated as one of the most important US photographers working today, Alec Soth is known for iconic photographs concentrating on the people and landscapes of suburban and rural communities, often taken during road trips throughout Middle America. In contrast, this new body of work was produced after an extended hiatus during which the artist stopped traveling and photographing to reflect upon and reconsider his creative process. Unlike previous series, which offer a more documentary account of particular locations or individuals, Soth’s new body of work is far more personal. He explains, “When I returned to photography, I wanted to strip the medium down to its primary elements. Rather than trying to make some sort of epic narrative about America, I wanted to simply spend time looking at other people and, hopefully, glimpse their interior life.”

Over the course of one-year Soth photographed individuals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Eastern Europe. All of the pictures are portraits of subjects taken in their own homes or interior spaces. Influenced by the openness of Peter Hujar’s photography, these sensitive images disclose a higher degree of subjectivity and intimacy than is typically found in Soth’s work. Featuring a range of subjects hitherto unknown to the artist who were introduced to him through third parties, the sitters include artists, writers and choreographers, the majority of whom the artist met on his travels. As Soth states, “This project isn’t about geography, nationality, or other ways we conceptually try to understand each other. It’s simply about walking into another person’s room and beholding the fragile, enigmatic beauty of another person’s life.” Beguiling in their simplicity, these photographs stand as quiet meditations on the poetic mysteries unleashed from nothing more than a quiet encounter in a stranger’s room.

Alec Soth lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published over twenty-five books, including his first critically acclaimed monograph Sleeping by the Mississippi, in 2004. He has gone on to publish titles such as NIAGARA (2006), Fashion Magazine (2007), Dog Days, Bogotá (2007), The Last Days of W (2008), Broken Manual (2010), Songbook (2015) and Gathered Leaves (2015). In 2008 Soth started his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom, which is based in Minnesota. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at international museums including the Deichtorhallen Internationale Kunst und Fotografie, Hamburg; the National Media Museum, Bradford, UK; The Finnish Museum, Helsinki; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; El museo de Bogotá, Colombia; the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; the Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, amongst others.

To coincide with the exhibition MACK Books published a new monograph on March 15, titled I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating, the exhibition and the book take their title from the final line of Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Gray Room.” The publication features a conversation between the artist and the celebrated novelist and Editor-in-Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Hanya Yanagihara.

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