Gary Schneider


February 28 - April 19, 2003

The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new color photographs by Gary Schneider, the culmination of a four year project entitled Portraits”. In Schneider's first solo show with this gallery, he will present eight large scale portraits of friends.

Schneider began making portraits using a large format camera in 1989. His approach to portraiture is anti-decisive moment by using very long exposures- in the case of this body of work up to ten minutes. He has used a process in which the exposures are made in a darkened space with a flashlight in a kind of durational performance between artist and subject. According to Schneider, these portraits say as much about him as do the subjects. He was particularly inspired by the way Julia Margaret Cameron worked in the nineteenth century in which during a long exposure she was unable to control the expression of the subject. Schneider places his subjects in a darkened room in a prone position, with a camera placed over the face. He then takes all the information that is deposited on the 8 x 10" sheet film and begins to interpret. What is recorded on the film is an accumulation of expressions, the emotional performance the subject went through during the exchange.” Although in the final image the subjects are not recognizable in a mimetic way, they convey a soulfulness and sagacity that is mesmerizing.

This is the first time Schneider has worked in color since 1977 in a solo show at Artists' Space. Work from this portrait series will be included in a solo exhibition at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University planned for February 2004.

Schneider was born in South Africa and received an MFA from Pratt Institute in 1979. He has exhibited widely in group and solo exhibitions, and his work has been discussed and reproduced in numerous publications (see our website for a full CV.) Among many public collections, Schneider's work is included in those of the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Whitney Museum and the International Center of Photography in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Houston, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne.

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