Sean Kelly Asia is delighted to present Built Images, a one person exhibition that surveys the four-decade long career of James Casebere. Spanning 1980 to 2017 the exhibition will feature some of the most iconic images in Casebere’s oeuvre. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, May 18 from 2pm–6pm. The artist will be present.
James Casebere’s pioneering work, as a member of the Pictures Generation, presaged what subsequently came to be known as constructed photography. The models Casebere extensively researches and constructs explore architectural, art historical, and cinematic sources. Made of everyday materials pared down to essential forms, the models are subsequently carefully lit and photographed in his studio. These empty, abandoned spaces are hauntingly evocative and often suggest either prior, or forthcoming usage or events, encouraging the viewer to imagine a narrative, or otherwise construct a symbolic, emotional and iconic reading of the work.
Casebere’s early works are devoid of colour and focus on the dramatic emotional impact of the work, much like early black and white films. In works such as Storefront (1982) and Venice Ghetto (1985) he eliminates extraneous details to create dynamic lighting effects which intentionally evoke memories and feelings triggered by the architectural spaces he invents. In the early 2000’s Casebere demonstrated his interest in a diverse range of iconic, international architectural spaces including the momentarily empty, but flooded space of Yellow Hallway, inspired by a stairwell at Versailles, and the traditional and ancient styles of both religious and vernacular architectures such as a Sienese palazzo in Sienna (Vertical). The most recent works in the exhibition were inspired by world-renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán. These works incorporate Barragán’s sumptuous use of colour, dramatic light and simple haptic, planar surfaces evoking a serene austerity reminiscent Casebere’s early series of work.
Casebere has been the recipient of numerous fellowships most recently the 2019 Rome Prize, three from the National Endowment for the Arts, three from the New York Foundation for the Arts and one from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His work is collected by museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Los Angeles County Museum; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, among many others. In 2016, Casebere was a New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame Honouree and the subject of important survey exhibitions: Fugitive at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, curated by Okwui Enwezor; Immersion at Espace Images Vevey in Switzerland; and After Scale Model: Dwelling in the Work of James Casebere, at the BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium.
Press release courtesy Sean Kelly.