LONDON.- The Photographers Gallery
presents Cathedral of the Pines, a highly anticipated exhibition of the most recent body of work by acclaimed American artist Gregory Crewdson (b. 1962). This exhibition, Crewdsons first major solo show in a UK public institution, is being presented in its entirety in their state of the art central London venue this summer, from 23 June - 8 October 2017.
This is the first time that the Gallery has dedicated all of its spaces to one exhibition, in order to show the scale and intensity of this important series of work. It provides a unique opportunity for UK audiences to encounter this extraordinary photographer up close, and will feature all thirty-one images from the Cathedral of the Pines series, presented as large-scale digital pigment prints. A publication with an essay by art historian Alexander Nemerov, published by Aperture, coincides with the exhibition.
With this series, produced between 2013-14, Crewdson returns to the uncanny suburban subjects, and explores more natural environments. In images that recall nineteenth-century American and European paintings, Crewdson photographs figures posing within the small rural town of Becket, Massachusetts, and its vast surrounding forests, including the actual trail from which the series takes its title. Interior scenes charged with ambiguous narratives probe tensions between human connection and separation, intimacy and isolation.
Crewdson describes this project as his most personal, venturing to retrieve in the remote setting of the forest, a reminiscence of his childhood. The images in Cathedral of the Pines, located in the dystopian landscape of the anxious American imagination, create atmospheric scenes, many featuring local residents, and for the first time in Crewdsons work, friends and family. In Woman at Sink, a woman pauses from her domestic chores, lost in thought. In Pickup Truck, Crewdson shows a nude couple in the flatbed of a truck in a dense forestthe woman seated, the man turned away in repose. Crewdson situates his disconsolate subjects in familiar settings, yet their cryptic actionsstanding still in the snow, or nude on a riverbankhint at invisible challenges. Precisely what these challenges are, and what fate awaits these anonymous figures, are left to the viewer's imagination.
His careful crafting of visual suspense conjures forebears such as Diane Arbus, Alfred Hitchcock, and Edward Hopper, as well as the influence of Hollywood cinema and directors such as David Lynch. In Cathedral of the Pines, Crewdson's persistent psychological leitmotifs evolve into intimate figurative dramas.
Visually alluring and often deeply disquieting, these tableaux are the result of an intricate production process: For more than twenty years, Crewdson has used the streets and interiors of small-town America as settings for photographic incarnations of the uncanny. Working with a large crew, he plans his images as meticulously as any movie director, from the nocturnal Twilight series (1998 2002); to the cerebral Beneath the Roses (200308); to the black and white series Sanctuary (2009), which was the first work that Crewdson made abroad, working in the back lots of the film studio Cinecittà, in Rome.
Gregory Crewdson was born in 1962 in Brooklyn, New York, and lives and works in New York City and Massachusetts. Crewdson studied at the State University of New York and Yale University, where he is Director of Graduate studies in Photography.
Public collections featuring his work include Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Fotomuseum Winterthur; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Recent solo exhibitions include Gregory Crewdson: 19852005, Kunstverein Hannover (2005, traveled to Kunstmuseen Krefeld; Fotomuseum Winterthur; and Landesgalerie Linz); Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place, C/O Berlin (2011, traveled to Kulturhuset, Stockholm; The Black Diamond, Copenhagen; Stenersen Museum, Oslo; Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; City Gallery Wellington; and Dunedin Art Gallery); Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses, Museum of Image and Sound, São Paulo (2014); Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies, Wave Hill, Bronx, New York (2014); and Gregory Crewdson: Dream House, San Diego Museum of Art (2015).