Gary Schneider NudesThursday, November 10, 2005–Thursday, January 5, 2006
In Gary Schneider: Nudes, renowned artist Gary Schneider presents a haunting series of nudes, in which each figure seems to materialize and float above a receding black ground. The skin tones of each individual are manipulated and transformed as they emerge from the darkness. Traces of the subjects’ gestures matched with the manner, in which they are composed, make us aware of their mortality and emotional complexity. The opening reception for Gary Schneider: Nudes will take place Thursday, November 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Schneider will return to Aperture Gallery on Thursday, November 17, at 6:30 p.m. for a conversation with Roger Hargreaves. This will be a unique opportunity to hear Schneider discuss his work and creative process with one of the world’s most respected curators.
One of today’s most thought-provoking and original artists, South African-born photographer Gary Schneider is best known for Genetic Self-Portrait, which extends the self-portrait beyond the figure into the depths of the elemental nature of the individual. Nudes, which continues the artist’s exploration of the human body and the portrait, is Schneider’s most startling, provocative, and stunning series to date.
Like a movie unfolding in real time, Schneider builds each image in Nudes by exposing one part of the model’s body after another with a tiny flashlight in total darkness. The exposure takes one to two hours. Adding more light emphasizes a body part; conversely, limiting light renders an area in shadow. Schneider exposes the parts of the body in the same sequence in order to exaggerate the differences between each person’s physicality and performance. There is an enormous amount of information collected during each session, both emotional and physical. During these long sessions, the relationship between the artist and model shifts; inhibitions break down, and self-consciousness gives way to intimacy between the subject and photographer, ultimately extending to the viewing audience. Gary Schneider: Nudes is a unique take on the idea of portraiture that both haunts and intrigues.
A gorgeous book of the same title published by Aperture accompanies the exhibition. The book is available for purchase, exquisitely slip-cased with an exhibition print. The print, entitled Ellen 2004, is the cover image on the book.
Gary Schneider was born in 1954 in East London, South Africa. His portrait work was the subject of a major survey at Harvard University’s Sackler Museum in February 2004, which then traveled to the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu. The show incorporated his solo exhibition, Genetic Self-Portrait, which has been shown extensively as an installation worldwide, including at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; and International Center of Photography, New York.