More American Photographs
March 1–June 3, 2012
More American Photographs, opens March 1, 2012 with more than 100 works presenting some of the best-known examples from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) alongside recently commissioned work from 12 contemporary artists.
Inspired by the FSA’s 1930’s and 1940’s program to document the Great Depression’s effects on America’s landscape and people, More American Photographs offers a portrait of America today in the wake of the Great Recession.
Incorporating FSA works owned by the Library of Congress, this exhibition vividly and poignantly discloses the diverse effects of the recent economic calamity: environmental disasters, factory-ghost towns, the collapse of the housing boom and a lack of economic mobility.
The exhibition’s 12 contemporary artists include Walead Beshty, Larry Clark, Roe Ethridge, Katy Grannan, William E. Jones, Sharon Lockhart, Catherine Opie, Martha Rosler, Collier Schorr, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth and Hank Willis Thomas. Many of these artists, some of whom do not typically work in a documentary style, have emulated the same straightforward and unglamorous style of photorealism the FSA photographers pioneered in the 1930s. Such historical examples from Esther Bubley, Sheldon Dick, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Gordon Parks, Marion Post Wolcott, Louise Rosskam and Ben Shahn will also be on view.
The exhibition’s title refers to Walker Evans’ American Photographs, one of the most powerful photography books ever produced, originally conceived as a catalogue to accompany Evans’ solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1938.
The exhibition is curated by Jens Hoffmann, director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco (CCA Wattis). It was first exhibited at CCA Wattis from October 2–December 17, 2011, and following its presentation in Denver, will be traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, from January 26–April 7, 2013. Subsequent tour venues to be announced.
The presentation of the exhibition at MCA Denver is sponsored in part by MCA Denver’s Director’s Vision Society members and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. We would like to further thank the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
Catherine Opie. Bravo (Plumbing), 2011. Courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles