Untitled (Vicarious)

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C1010, 2004 Pigment Print © Courtesy the Artist & Gagosian Gallery, NY
Untitled (Vicarious)

980 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10075
September 23rd, 2008 - December 20th, 2008

upper east side
Tue-Sat 10-6


I never thought of a picture as being bodiless, but rather as existing within a process of transformation of three dimensions to two. --Wolfgang Tillmans

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce Untitled (Vicarious), an exhibition of photographs by Roger Ballen, Gregory Crewdson, Thomas Demand, Shannon Ebner, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Anne Hardy, Leslie Hewitt, László Moholy-Nagy, Carter Mull, Vik Muniz, Hélio Oiticica & Neville D'Almeida, Cindy Sherman, David Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sara VanDerBeek, and James Welling.

Untitled (Vicarious) explores the defining relationship between sculpture and photography as exemplified by a group of artists spanning several generations. Central to the exhibition is the dematerialization of the object via the process of its being photographed: the artists create and photograph constructions, choosing to exhibit the resulting representations rather than the original objects. Whether they are sculptures, staged scenarios, or momentary interventions, the conflation of the inherent three-dimensionality of the sculptural form and the rendered two-dimensionality of the final photograph defies easy categorization. One is forced to recognize the object as an entity that cannot be viewed firsthand but only experienced vicariously via secondary photographic incarnations.

For the greater part of the twentieth century, artists have used photography to define their constructions through the lens of the camera rather than through physical proximity. Some of the first practitioners of this mode of representation have been sculptors. David Smith's photographs are remarkable for their attention to objects and their positioning, reflecting on the sculptural possibilities and perceptual impact of photography; László Moholy–Nagy designed sets for his sculptures, adjusting the light conditions to present an object-based perception of his work within the confines of a two-dimensional format, thus creating a separate experience unique to the photograph that could not be replicated in three dimensions.