Based in Milano, Galleria Raffaella Cortese will present an accurate selection of predominantly black-and-white aerial photography from Zoe Leonard’s aerial series, conceived in the late 80s, at Frieze New York.
New York–based artist Zoe Leonard is among the most critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Over the past three decades, she has produced work in photography and sculpture that has been celebrated for its lyrical observations of daily life coupled with a rigorous, questioning attention to the politics.
For more than twenty years, Leonard has been practicing the art of the contemplative journey and the perceptive gaze. She trolls through nature and culture, the urban landscape and the world of museums, in search of signs that might give some insight into their contrasts, similarities and inter-relationships. Zoe Leonard’s predominantly black-and-white photographs are like a blurred cartography of the human condition. Her idiosyncratic gaze finds photographs that are subversive in their questioning, casual in their approach, incisive in what they reveal; in these photographs, viewpoint, subject and form are equally engaged. In 2014 she won the prestigious Whitney Biennial Bucksbaum Award.
Zoe Leonard’s exhibition titled Survey currently at the Whitney Museum of American Art is the first large-scale overview of the artist’s work in an American museum. The exhibition looks across Leonard’s career to highlight her engagement with a range of themes, including the history of photography, gender and sexuality, loss and mourning, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape. More than it focuses on any particular subject, however, Leonard’s work slowly and reflectively calibrates vision and form. Using repetition, subtle changes of perspective, and shifts of scale, Leonard draws viewers into an awareness of the meanings behind otherwise familiar images or objects. A counter-example to the speed and disposability of image culture today, Leonard’s photographs, sculptures and installations ask the viewer to reengage with how we see.
“I love photographs, I love to handle them. I love that it’s work on paper and that it is a drawing with light and it happens on this emulsion surface. To me there is an interesting territory about the perception of photographs. People often seem to be under the illusion that they are real, that a photograph is a real moment. I think that is ridiculous. For me it’s not reality; it’s a subject view. It’s a picture. I go out and I see things my way and take my photograph among all the millions of photographs that can be taken. I take this one.”
Raffaella Cortese, of Galleria Raffaella Cortese is renowned for her rigorous exhibition program focused on international women artists from different generations who mainly work on critical issues such as feminism, national and political identities and poetry, through different media. Defined by a dynamic, research-oriented environment, the gallery cultivates a special interest for pioneering artists who defy facile and fashionable trends, making it a lively forum where continuity and cutting-edge merge together. Besides numerous American artists, Raffaella Cortese is also interested in Eastern European and Latin American ones: each gallery artist has widely exhibited in major museums and is regularly included in international exhibitions.
Join Galleria Raffaella Cortese at booth A7 at Frieze New York from May 3rd to 6th.
Images courtesy of the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan.