Timothy White

January 30 to June 5, 2011

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will roll out the red carpet for Timothy White: Portraits, an exhibition which focuses on a carefully curated selection of powerful, intimate, engaging—and often humorous—photographic portraits of some the most iconic and celebrated figures in contemporary film and music.

White’s exhibition at The Aldrich, on view from January 30 to June 5, 2011, will present large-scale photographs of celebrities, taken over the last two decades, which capture surprising and revealing sides of recognizable individuals, including Liz Taylor, Harrison Ford, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Brad Pitt, Ray Charles, Paul Newman, Michael Jackson, and Mel Gibson, among others.

In his work, White raises questions about the role of photography and portraiture; while his photographs document a scene and capture images and people, they are imbued with intent, expectations, and meaning. What lingers is an impromptu moment, carefully coaxed out of people who are famously on guard and controlling of their public image. The portraits, removed from their commercial intent, are timeless as White celebrates people with highs and lows that may not coincide with our fantasies of his subjects.

Open publication

Curator Harry Philbrick notes, “The Aldrich is presenting White’s exhibition during a semester of projects by five other contemporary artists whose work also focuses on portraiture, each in their own unique way. It is interesting that the portraits of celebrities for which White is most renowned prompt reflection on the power of photography in shaping today’s world and influencing the concept of fame in a culture which feeds on celebrity. His thoughtful and perceptive images have depth in their artistry and in their contextual relevance. The insightfulness and dynamism of his compositions, and the mastery of his technique, combine to create a compelling exhibition.”

White has been one of the most sought-after celebrity photographers for over twenty years. Named one of the most important people in photography by American Photo, his awards include a Lucie for International Photographer of the Year. His photographs are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and his published works include Timothy White: Portraits (Rizzoli, foreword by Harrison Ford); Indian Larry (Merrell, forewords by Matthew Barney, Paul Cox, and Billy Lane); Hollywood Pinups (HarperCollins, forewords by Susan Sarandon, Christian Louboutin, and Chris Napolitano); Match Prints, a photography collaboration with legendary rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall (HarperCollins, foreword by Anthony DeCurtis). A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, White was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and currently resides in New York City.


Timothy White, Elizabeth Taylor (Los Angeles, CA), 2000
Courtesy of the artist