Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Photographs 1975–2012
14 Feb - 01 Jun 2014
American artist Philip-Lorca diCorcia (b. 1951, Connecticut)
is one of the most important photographers working today.
This was the first UK exhibition to show works spanning his career, offering an opportunity to appreciate the development of diCorcia’s work. This large-scale survey contained over 100 photographs from six major series.
Spanning four decades, from early photographs included in the series A Storybook Life (1975–1999) to his ongoing project East of Eden (2008–present), the exhibition demonstrated the unique way in which diCorcia negotiates the line between fiction and and documentation.
Although actual locations are often used, and the people in the photographs are themselves, rather than models or actors, the overall composition, lighting and positioning of subjects have been carefully planned in advance.
Hustlers (1990–2) depicts male prostitutes, each in a different carefully staged setting. The evocative titles of each photograph give the name, age, hometown and the amount diCorcia paid each man for posing for the picture.
The Streetwork series (1993–9) shows unsuspecting passers-by photographed on the street, a theme also developed in the series Heads (2000–01), where single, isolated figures walking through New York’s Times Square are captured as if frozen in time.
In Lucky 13 (2004) – an American phrase that describes the warding off of a losing streak – dramatically lit pole-dancers are presented in near life-size photographs, suspended in time and space and caught in the act of falling.
DiCorcia’s ongoing series East of Eden, started in 2008, draws loosely on narrative incidents from the Old Testament in images that are stylistically varied and include landscapes and staged scenes.
The exhibition also included the whole of the series A Storybook Life (1975–99) in which there is no explicit narrative or strict chronology, but the 76 photographs are sequenced to suggest a network of interconnected lives and stories.
‘If you have never seen these images in person, I urge you to make the journey to Wakefield.’
– The Guardian
‘Already giving the big London galleries a run for their money, The Hepworth Wakefield has pulled off another major coup.’
– Yorkshire Post
‘[The Hepworth Wakefield] refers to diCorcia as one of America’s greatest photographers, and for once it does not feel like puff.’
***** – The Independent
‘A wonderful, exhaustive retrospective at The Hepworth Wakefield.’
– Design Week
Exhibition supported by
This exhibition was organised by Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in collaboration with The Hepworth Wakefield.
With kind support from Sprüth Magers Berlin/London and David Zwirner, New York/London.