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Revival of Studio Practice

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 16, 2013
Quentin Bajac, who left the Pompidou Center in Paris last year to become chief photography curator at the Museum of Modern Art, has organized his first show at MoMA. Called "A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio" and culled from the museum's own holdings, it will explore the ways in which photographers and artists who use photographs in their work create images within the confines of a traditional studio. Running from Feb. 8 through Oct. 5, it is to include about 200 works, some new acquisitions that have not been exhibited before as well as more famous seminal images.

"I see a revival of interest for studio practice," Mr. Bajac said. This trend, he added, may be a reaction to the ubiquity of photographic devices like smartphones and tablets, networks like Instagram and programs like Photoshop. "It's not just about taking an image but making an image," he added.

Organized thematically, the show will address the use of theatrical tableaus by practitioners like Julia Margaret Cameron and Cindy Sherman. There will also be examples of work by Richard Avedon and Robert Mapplethorpe, who used stark, blank backgrounds, and by photographers like Thomas Demand who construct architectural sets within their studios.

Among the recent acquisitions will be works by two artists featured in "The Encyclopedic Palace," the main exhibition at this year's Venice Biennale: the Romanian-born Geta Bratescu and the Nigerian photographer J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere. There will also be a few films by William Wegman and the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss.

The New York Times

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