Laurence Miller Gallery is pleased to present GRACE, a group exhibition featuring nineteen artists that embrace one of our most important conversations today regarding how people see themselves and others within the larger social fabric. Historically many artists have addressed these issues (two works each by Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman will be featured), though more often than not as a comment on others rather than about themselves. Paradoxically, as we become more interconnected globally through technology, we at the same time are looking more deeply into defining our individual personas within social alliances.
Iranian born Fatemeh Baigmoradi in her recent series It’s Hard to Kill burned family photographs to understand what her parents felt when they had to destroy the family archive out of fear of being jailed by the newly empowered Ayatollah and his Islamic state. Jess Dugan’s portraits of transgender and gender nonconforming older adults are stunning and sensitive works from her series and book titled To Survive on This Shore. The accompanying texts are vulnerable, honest, and revelatory.
Denis Darzacq from Paris did an extensive collaboration, titled ACT, engaging young adults with disabilities. Many of the participants included actors, athletes, and dancers, and the joy and freedom they express challenges many of our preconceptions of people we label “disabled.” Japanese photographer Kazuo Sumida, upon the death of his father, often wandered into the night seeking solace, and found himself in a gay cabaret only to discover his uncle was a transgender performer. By using infrared film, he was able to capture the poignancy of the denizens’ intimacy, rituals, sadness and joy without disrupting the scene.
Julie Mack explores her role within her family, Amy Ritter confronts how her identity was defined by growing up in a mobile home community. South African Zanele Muholi in her series Faces and Phases celebrates and commemorates black lesbians, to remedy traditional black queen invisibility.
Also featured will be Gay Block’s portraits of European Holocaust rescuers; Gary Brotmeyer’s humorous photobased portrait collages; Yasumasa Morimura’s self-portrayals; Neal Slavin’s portraits of groups in prayer; Bruce Wrighton’s sharply focused portraits from Binghamton, NY; Melanie Walker’s role-playing self-portraits; Dennis Farber’s Polaroid montages blending external and hidden desires; Adal’s protest to Puerto Rican’s being submerged in debt; and Robert Calafiore’s pinhole odalisques referencing the male nude in classical art with poses that display a vulnerability uncommon in cultural depictions of masculinity.