On Sunday, March 18, the Parrish Art Museum will introduce its latest exhibit, “Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture.” The photography exhibition, which will remain open until mid-June, showcases the work of 21 “renowned, under-recognized, and emerging artists” and captures architecture dating from the 1930s to present day.
As the guest curator for “Image Building,” Therese Lichtenstein, Ph.D. organized the photographs into three main thematic groups – cityscapes, domestic spaces, and public spaces – in order to consider the similarities and differences in photographing these spaces from a contemporary or historical approach. Individuals are encouraged to consider the relationship between the built environment, the photographer, and the viewer.
The exhibit features the works of Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Julius Shulman, Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Luigi Ghirri, Stephen Shore, Iwan Baan, Hélène Binet, James Casebere, Thomas Demand, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Balthazar Korab, Ed Ruscha, and Ezra Stoller. The photographers hail from different geographical, temporal, and cultural backgrounds, which contributes to the diversity of work in this exhibit and invites exploration of different techniques and styles.
By viewing photographs of the same places shot by different individuals (and sometimes in different eras), the viewer can compare, contrast, and consider the impact of the “subjective interpretation” of those behind the lens on the photograph itself. One can make such a comparison by viewing a 1933 portrait of Rockefeller Center by Gottscho to a 2001 image of the same building by Sugimoto, for example.
“Since the Parrish took occupancy of our new Herzog & De Meuron designed building here in Water Mill in 2012, we have been fortunate to have welcomed many creative and renowned architectural photographers to the Museum. Through their eyes we have been able to appreciate the variety of ways people encounter and engage with this special building. We were prompted to consider the complex and dynamic relationship between physical space and structure, and how spaces and structures are represented through the particular interpretation of photographic images,” shared Terrie Sultan, director at the museum.
In addition to featuring 57 images, the exhibit also includes other “ephemera” such as magazines and books that illustrate photographic trends in the context of “high art” or “mass culture.”
“‘Image Building: How Photography Transforms Architecture’ gives the museum an opportunity to fully explore the fascinating connections found among spectator, photographer, and architect, from the 1930s to the present. This is a very special project for us, and one we very much look forward to sharing with the public,” said Sultan.
Following the close of this exhibition in June, it will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to be displayed at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts until late October. Accompanying this exhibit is also a 160-page catalogue created by exhibit curator Lichenstein that includes a foreword from museum director, Terrie Sultan.
The Parrish Art Museum’s mission is to “foster connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, the presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence.”
Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, please visit parrishart.org.