“Strauss registers moments of ebullience and sensitivity that transcend the bleakness of circumstance.” – Julia Bryan-Wilson, Artforum
A new site-specific piece by Philadelphia-based photographer Zoe Strauss—titled Works for Columbus, OH—is on view in the Wexner Center’s café in the lower lobby now through August 15, 2010. Curated by Bill Horrigan, the center’s director of media arts, the wall-sized piece consists of a panoramic image of clouds over the city (shot by Strauss on a journey back to Philadelphia from Columbus), providing a background surface for several dozen of her smaller portraits and urban landscapes from the artist’s short but lauded 10-year career. The photographs are a sharp contrast to the sky, showing people and places imbued with an often-overlooked beauty. Strauss’s work seeks to provide her subject matter with the simple dignity of recognition, with the imagery— covering a range of locales across the country and overseas—depicting such subject matter as a clerk at a convenience store, the façade of an abandoned building, and a hand-lettered sign with its characters askew.
Strauss’s career—launched after receiving a camera on her 30th birthday—has been both decidedly outsider (the first exhibition of her work was on a freeway underpass) and fashionably recognized (she was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial). She was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and in 2007 received the United States Artists’ Gund Fellowship. Her first book, America, was published in 2008, and among her recent projects was Week of the Perfect Game (2009), commissioned by and shown at the Art Institute of Chicago. She presently is planning a major retrospective exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Strauss is represented by Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York.
The installation is accompanied by a gallery guide and can be viewed during normal building hours: Monday–Wednesday 8 am–6 pm; Thursday 8 am–8 pm; Saturday 10 am–8 pm; and Sunday 11 am–6 pm. Admission is free.
Strauss will give a free talk Thursday, May 20 at 4:30 pm in the Film/Video Theater.
All Wexner Center exhibitions and related events receive support from the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members, as well as Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. Accommodations are provided by The Blackwell Inn.