May 24, 2018–August 26, 2018
May 24, 2018–August 26, 2018
For the exhibition Spine, Lisa Oppenheim repurposed photographs from Lewis Hine, a photojournalist from the early 20th century. Hine’s images dwell on the conditions of immigrant and child labor in American mills and factories from that time. Oppenheim appropriated specific works by Hine from the Library of Congress’ photographic archive that depict adolescent textile workers—primarily young women with physically misshapen backs. Hine originally documented these figures to illustrate the damaging effects of textile manufacturing on the spine. Oppenheim printed the images life-sized and bisected each image at the vertical points of the figure’s spine, effectively collapsing the subject and the photograph together.
Two other series complete this survey of Oppenheim’s recent work: Remnants creates photographs from textile fragments the artist sourced from the same time period as Hine’s photographs; and Jacquard Weave, which features textile works woven from the same vintage fragments. With each inversion, the colors reverse: the photograph is the color negative of the original textile, whose colors are again inverted in Jacquard loom compositions. With these two series, Oppenheim both borrows and translates troubling issues of the past into timely metaphors around labor, production, and craft today.
Lisa Oppenheim (b. 1975, New York, NY) lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a BA in art and semiotics from Brown University in 1998 and an MFA in film and video from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in 2001. She attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program for studio art in 2003. In 2014, Oppenheim was the recipient the AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize from the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Shpilman International Photography Prize from the Israel Museum. Recently, she has been the subject of solo exhibitions at MOCA Cleveland (2017), the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (2015), and group exhibitions including New Photography at The Museum of Modern Art (2013). Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, among others.
The exhibition is curated by
Andria Hickey, Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
On view from
Generous support for Lisa Oppenheim: Spine is provided by Harriet Warm and Dick Blum, with additional support from Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, the Anselm Talalay Photography Endowment, and the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. MCA Denver also thanks the Director's Vision Society and the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for their support of the exhibition.