Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Photographs 1975-2012
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfert, Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt, Germany
20 June – 5 September
From the Press Release
Beginning June 20, 2013, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is hosting the first European retrospective of the oeuvre of US photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Born in 1951, diCorcia is one of the most important and influential contemporary photographers. His images oscillate between everyday elements and arrangements that are staged down to the smallest detail. In his works, seemingly realistic images that are taken with an ostensibly documentary eye are undermined by their highly elaborate orchestration.
One of the primary issues that diCorcia addresses is the question of whether it is possible to depict reality, and this is what links his photographs, most of which he creates as series. For Hustlers (1990–1992), for example, he took pictures of male prostitutes in meticulously staged settings, while in what is probably his most famous series, Heads (2000–2001), he captured an instance in the everyday life of unsuspecting passers-by. Alongside the series Streetwork (1993–1999), Lucky 13 (2004) and A Storybook Life (1975–1999), the exhibition at the Schirn, which was organised in close collaboration with the artist, will also present works from his new and ongoing East of Eden project for the first time.
Max Hollein, director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt has said, “Philip-Lorca diCorcia is one of the absolute stars on the American photography scene. We are proud to be able to present his works to a German public for the first time in this scope and intensity. DiCorcia’s images stand out due to their iconographic visual quality, which lends the medium of photography its very own relevance.”
“Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s photographs alternate between snapshots and compositions with virtually Baroque theatrics,” remarks Katharina Dohm, curator of the exhibition. “He communicates a fundamental picture of the human figure that becomes a direct experience for the viewer. The assembly of works at the Schirn provides the unique opportunity of immersing oneself in the mysterious worlds of this important contemporary artist and becoming familiar with his eye for social realities.”
Philip-Lorca diCorcia was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1951. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1972 to 1975 before receiving his Master of Fine Arts in photography from Yale University in 1979. The photographer is considered to be one of the most important American artists of his generation. In 1993, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York mounted the first solo exhibition of diCorcia’s works. This was followed by mostly solo shows focusing on individual series, including important exhibitions at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston in 2007 and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2008. In Europe, only samples from diCorcia’s series had been presented up to that point in solo or group shows.
This extensive exhibition features 6 series comprising a total of 124 works, beginning with the most recent photographs from the ongoing series East of Eden to diCorcia’s earliest works from 1975.