Anne Collier is a contemporary American artist recognised for her photographs of found images of women. Engaging with source materials that date back to the 1970s and 80s, Collier explores the gendered tropes in photography's history.Read More
Collier holds a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (1993) and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2001). Taking the form of self-portraiture at first, her early work sought to replace the artist's images with objects that would serve as surrogates. Such oblique self-portraits continue to inform the artist's later works, which revolve around found images of women.
Collier's practice of collecting and rephotographing printed materials have led to comparisons with the work of the Pictures Generation, a loosely associated group of artists who came to the fore in the 1970s and are known for their critical approach to media culture. While Collier's work overlaps with those of Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, or John Baldessari—with whom she studied at the California Institute of Arts—in their reference to mass-circulated images, Collier's photographs differ in their treatment of their subjects more as still lifes than appropriated images.
In the ongoing photographic series 'Woman with a Camera', which began in 2006, Anne Collier collects vintage magazines, posters, record albums, and advertisements, among others, and rephotographs them against a neutral, often white, background. A common denominator in this collection is that the images depict women posing with cameras as if they were photographers.
The women in 'Woman with a Camera' appear confident or absorbed in their cameras, although Collier reveals that such scenes were staged by professional, often male, photographers, with the device as a prop. These include Woman With a Camera (Cheryl Tiegs/Olympus 2) (2008), showing the American model with her manicured hands around an Olympus camera, and Woman with a Camera (The Last Sitting, Bert Stern) (2009), a photograph of a spread in Stern's book about Marilyn Monroe's final photo session with him before her death.
In 2017, Collier's collection of 80 found amateur photographs of women with cameras were published as the book Women with Cameras (Anonymous).
Since the 2010s, Anne Collier has also photographed images sourced from vintage album covers and comic strips that close in on women's crying faces. In works such as Filter # 3 (Blue) (2020) and Woman Crying #21 (2021), women's faces are reduced to portions, with the teardrops shining bright. By focusing on the tears, Collier highlights the emotional, hysterical woman, another trope in the history of the representation of women.
Selected solo exhibitions of Anne Collier's work include Anne Collier, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2020); Anne Collier: Photographic, Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2018); Woman with Cameras (Self Portrait), Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota (2017); Anne Collier, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2015); and Anne Collier, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2014).
Selected group exhibitions include Tales of Manhattan, Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2021); New Time: Art & Feminisms in the 21st Century, UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, California (2021); A Little after the Millennium, Gallery Baton, Seoul (2020); Studio Photography: 1987–2019, Simon Lee Gallery, New York (2019); This is Not a Selfie, curated by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, California (2017); California and the West: Photography from the Campaign for Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016); Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); America Is Hard To See, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); New Photography 2012, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); and 10,000 Lives, Gwangju Biennale (2010).
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021