Sarah Charlesworth “Objects of Desire: 1983-1988”


poster for Sarah Charlesworth “Objects of Desire: 1983-1988”

This event has ended.

Maccarone presents Sarah Charlesworth, Objects of Desire 1983 – 1988, a show of the seminal series that not only shaped the foundation of Charlesworth’s own practice, but that of subsequent generations of artists engaging with the medium of photography. This is the gallery’s first exhibition of the artist, on view from April 25 – June 21, 2014 at 630 Greenwich St, New York.

Objects of Desire is a five-part extended series that explores the iconography of popular culture and the desires and values it supports. Sub-series focus on the color and formal attributes of specific cultural arenas. These works address the language of gender and sexuality, popular conceptions of nature, religion and spirituality, as well as the framing of material desire. All works in the series are Cibachrome prints with matching lacquer frames. This exhibition is the first occasion various works from each of the five-part series have been brought together.

In making Objects of Desire, Charlesworth extracted a wide range of images from books and magazines, including contemporary fashion, symbolic animals, ancient statuary, and emblems of power. She then re-photographed the images against solid color backgrounds, presenting the results in matching frames. With the introduction of new colors in each sub-series, Charlesworth’s subject matter was framed by another layer of symbolic context, i.e. red as sexuality, yellow as material desire, blue as metaphysical longing, green as nature, or black as the unknown.

In all of Charlesworth’s work, the proportions of positive to negative space, the color and the scale and position of elements introduce layers of significance. The meaning of each work is formed through the placement of the specific elements. In Charlesworth’s own words:

“There’s something about the surface of a photograph, how it acts, and about the coherence of photographic illusion that both fascinates and disturbs me. To me, there’s something mysterious about what’s physically there and how it acts on our psyches…how it connects us to some other thing—to a chair, a human being, to a different reference point, a moment in time, and finally, to desire itself.” - Interview with David Deitcher, Afterimage, Summer 1984

Sarah Charlesworth (1947–2013) exhibited widely in the US and abroad with over 50 solo exhibitions, and a traveling museum retrospective in 1998 (organized by SITE, Santa Fe). ­Charlesworth taught photography in the graduate program at School of Visual Arts in NY, Rhode Island School of Design and Princeton University. Her work appears in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and others. Her work is currently featured in the Whitney Biennial 2014. A solo exhibition at The Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago will open in September 2014.



from April 25, 2014 to June 21, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-04-25 from 18:00 to 20:00

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