NEW YORK, NY.- Penelope Umbrico (Photographs) offers a radical reinterpretation of everyday consumer and vernacular images. As Umbrico describes, she works within the virtual world of consumer marketing and social media, traveling through the relentless flow of seductive images, objects, and information that surrounds us, searching for decisive momentsbut in these worlds, decisive moments are cultural absurdities.
Umbrico finds these moments in the printed pages of consumer product mail-order catalogs, travel and leisure brochures, and online sites such as Craigslist, EBay, and Flickr. By identifying and isolating image typologiescandy-colored horizons and sunsets, books used as propsthe farcical and surreal nature of the lingua franca of consumerism and recreation is brought to new light.
Penelope Umbrico (Photographs) presents a unique and challenging approach to quintessential issues of representation in contemporary culture, including how images
are used to construct and communicate consumer desire, and whether or not the
growing volume of images we view online fosters a critical visual literacy. This volume
Umbricos first monograph, is accompanied by a series of essays, appendices of source material, excerpts from theoretical works, and other material serving as resources for engaging further with the work and issues involved. Penelope Umbrico (born in Philadelphia, 1957) graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Shehas participated extensively in solo and group exhibitions, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Umbrico is on faculty in the School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Program, and is
chair of the MFA Photography Program at Bard Colleges Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. She lives in New York City.