Utopia/Dystopia explores the ways that artists use photography to project a political, social, or cultural state of utopia or dystopia. Ranging in date from the late 19th century to the present, these photos, photocollages, photomontages, and moving images—along with photographs of a constructed space or sculptures that incorporate a photograph—have allowed artists to experiment with social, political, and urban construction and imagination.
The exhibition draws on the collections of the MFAH and the Menil Collection in Houston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and private collectors. Among the many artists represented are Herbert Bayer, Matthew Buckingham, Richard Hawkins, Hannah Höch, El Lissitzky, Esaki Reiji, and Tom Thayer.
The timing of Utopia/Dystopia: Construction and Destruction in Photography and Collage celebrates Houston's FotoFest 2012 Biennial (March 16–April 29). An illustrated catalogue, published by the MFAH and distributed by Yale University Press, accompanies the exhibition.