Legacy: Photographs from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection

June 8 to September 2, 2013

Richard Artschwager, Matthew Barney, Keith Cottingham, Lynn Davis, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, John Dugdale, Nan Goldin, Rodney Graham, Robert Longo, Vera Lutter, Robert Mapplethorpe, Abelardo Morell, Shirin Neshat, Victoria Sambunaris, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, and Hiroshi Sugimoto

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs, created by some of the most influential artists of our time, which were collected by visual arts patron Emily Fisher Landau. This focused exhibition is an iteration of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection, which showcased an historic collection of works—diverse in media—promised to the institution by their long-time supporter and trustee. The Aldrich has chosen to focus on photography, an area of the collection that is particularly strong, highlighting Mrs. Landau's enterprising vision and enduring commitment to contemporary artists, often from the start of their careers.

Although many of the artists in this exhibition are also known for their work in other media—including sculpture, film, video, print-making, and performance—this group of works illustrates how contemporary photography has been shaped over the past twenty-five years, a period during which the medium stood at the forefront of contemporary art practice. Works in the exhibition span a variety of approaches, from traditional to conceptual, in a spectrum of media, including cyanotype, silver gelatin print, and digital chromogenic print, revealing how the complex history of photography has been utilized by contemporary practitioners of the medium.

The exhibition is presented in galleries alongside a unique architectural feature of The Aldrich—a darkened room that serves as a camera obscura. This device is both a simple demonstration of the optical phenomena that are essential to the photographic process and an example of the oldest photographic mechanism. A handful of works included in the exhibition, including those by Abelardo Morell, John Dugdale, Rodney Graham, and Vera Lutter, directly relate to the nature of the camera obscura.

Legacy: Photographs from the Emily Fisher Landau Collection is organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art and is curated at The Aldrich by executive director Alyson Baker and exhibitions director Richard Klein.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Office of the Arts and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.


Top of page: Matthew Barney, CREMASTER 3: 1967 Chrysler Imperial, 2002
Chromogenic print in self-lubricating plastic frame Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of the Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York. © Matthew Barney.