Hannah Whitaker “Lifelike”


poster for Hannah Whitaker “Lifelike”
[Image: Hannah Whitaker "Magenta Landscape" (2019) Archival pigment print mounted on MDF 21 x 15 in.]

This event has ended.

Marinaro presents Lifelike, Hannah Whitaker’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The show presents several intersecting bodies of work, two groups of photographs and a collection of sculptural lamps.

After several years of honing an exacting multiple-exposure photographic process, Whitaker presents a suite of new, conventionally made photographs (single-exposures shot with a digital camera). Using lighting techniques acquired through moonlighting as a commercial photographer, Whitaker depicts the same woman in various states of visibility. Surrounded by techno-futuristic design tropes, the woman presents the embodied form of the collectively imagined female figure at the center of personified technology. While she conjures an idealized being, she is, at the same time, unretouched—her wrinkles, hair tangles, and freckles are all visible in their full human splendor. The photographs are UV-printed onto MDF, with hand-painted edges, allowing them to occupy the wall without the constraint of frames, and creating a an experience of the work that is dependent on one’s vantage point. These photographs will be featured in an upcoming book, Ursula, to be published by Image Text Ithaca in February 2021.

The lower gallery contains several photographs made through the analog 4x5 film process long-associated with Whitaker’s practice. Combining multiple visual languages onto single sheets of 4x5 film, these works situate a silhouetted woman’s deadpan profile and arms within a patterned, graphic world.

Lastly, Whitaker presents an entirely new venture for her—lamps. Photographic at their core, the lamps are composed of intersecting MDF planes UV-printed with images from Whitaker’s photographic practice. As an artist who straddles the art and commercial photography worlds, these works work to erode another increasingly murky distinction, between art and design. As literal light sources, they reflexively refer to their photographic origins. On a symbolic register, their illumination offers much needed optimism in a dark time in America.

The show may be understood through a maddening collection of false equivalents—doubles that are similar only in the most superficial ways. It relates photography’s capacity for representation to the tech industry’s depiction of femininity to our Zoom-enabled digital avatars that now represent us in social and professional duties. Lifelike alludes to the notion that our lives for the past 8 months, lacking fullness, are life like at best.

Hannah Whitaker (b. 1980, Washington D.C.) received her BA from Yale University and holds an MFA from ICP/Bard College. She has had solo exhibitions at M+B, Los Angeles; Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris; Thierry Goldberg, New York and Locust Projects, Miami. Whitaker was featured in Public Art Fund’s citywide exhibition, Commercial Break in New York. Group shows include those at The Henie Onstad Museum, Norway; FRAC Normandie Rouen, France; Galerie Nara Roesler, Sao Paolo, Brazil; Casey Kaplan, New York; Galerie Xippas, Paris; Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles; Higher Pictures, New York; Tokyo Institute of Photography; and Rencontres d’Arles in France, where she was nominated for the Discovery Prize. Hannah Whitaker lives and works in Brooklyn.



from December 10, 2020 to January 24, 2021

Opening Reception on 2020-12-10 from 15:00 to 19:00


Hannah Whitaker

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