11.Jun.04 - 30.Jul.04
Via dei prefetti, 17
On occasion of the recent publication of American photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s third book, Mirrors, the Magazzino d’Arte Moderna is pleased to present an exhibition of selected photographs from the book.
Montgomery Barron first established her artistic reputation as a portrait photographer in New York, documenting its art and literary scene of the 1980s. Well known works include black and white photographs of Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Susan Sontag, William Burroughs and Salman Rushdie. In 1990 Bruno Bischofberger published the artist’s first book, Photographs, Jeannette Montgomery Barron.
In 1991 Montgomery Barron began a new series of still lifes, often juxtaposing man-made objects with elements of nature in a state of imperfection. Six years later she was commissioned by The New Yorker to photograph poet Jorie Graham, recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize award in poetry. From this meeting Graham and Montgomery Barron began exchanging poems and photographs, a collaboration that developed into a second book, Photographs and Poems, published by Scalo in 1998. Graham’s poems do not comment upon the photographs; instead, they use them as an environment in which to place words. Montgomery Barron’s still-lifes often suggest a dark subtext to their serenity.
At the same time, Montgomery Barron began a third series of photographs of mirrors. Born from her dissatisfaction when attempting to take self-portraits, she began using the mirror as a metaphor of the self. Each image represents the artist and how she felt that day. The mirror that constantly throws back the glance it has just captured is the subject as well – both literally and metaphorically. Each mirror discloses yet another facet, becoming a new and in-depth portrait, examining qualities latently present but never truly visible.
Montgomery Barron’s third book, Mirrors, is published by Holzwarth Publications and includes a text by the American writer Edmund White. During their nearly twenty year friendship, the artist was always impressed by White’s precise descriptions of the idiosyncracies, aberrations and intricacies of characters and personalities. A perfect complement to Montgomery Barron’s own self-exploration.