Sarah Charlesworth
Selected by Liz Deschenes

6 rue de Braque

Liz Deschenes
4 rue de Braque, 3rd floor

Campoli Presti is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of works by Sarah Charlesworth at the gallery. Selected by Liz Deschenes, the works are displayed in the ground floor of 6 rue de Braque. Liz Deschenes will present a photographic installation in the newly added gallery space at 4 rue de Braque.

Charlesworth’s influential body of work deconstructed the conventions of photography and established the medium’s centrality in our perception of the world. Like contemporaries Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman, Jack Goldstein, Barbara Kruger, and Richard Prince, Charlesworth was later associated with the heterogeneous group of conceptual artists identified as Pictures Generation. Charlesworth stages volatile worlds, isolating objects on monochrome backgrounds to reveal the constructed nature of visual culture and question systems of image distribution.

For the exhibition at Campoli Presti, Liz Deschenes has selected works from Charlesworth’s 0+1 series. Single objects that count as visual fetishes (an altar, a skull) are surrendered to gravity and are exposed to a vaporous light that makes them simultaneously appear and recede. Their fragile existence responds to the uncertain economy of images, which can either accelerate their reproduction or make them disappear over time. Rendered in polished lacquer wooden frames, each object is meticulously staged, contributing to the theatricality of their presentation.

These photographs revisit many of the iconic images that Sarah Charlesworth worked with in her Objects of Desire series throughout the 1980’s, in which the objects were isolated on single-coloured backgrounds. Rather than cutting out and pasting onto vibrant tones, the photographs in 0+1 are made by arranging still-lifes of white objects on white backgrounds in the studio, sometimes obscuring the images further through selective focus or by placing veils between the camera and object. Connecting the artist’s early and late career work, this series is pivotal as it establishes the visual syntax that defines Charlesworth’s production.

Similarly exploring the potential of photography besides its document form, Liz Deschenes produces unique, site-specific work that reflects on the medium in expansive terms. Liz Deschenes’ work has been increasingly concerned with the interaction between the history of a site, its possibilities of display and the viewer’s awareness of his or her own perceptual and physical experience in the space.

For her presentation at Campoli Presti, Liz Deschenes will make an intervention in the new gallery space at 4 rue de Braque with a photographic installation. The geometrical shape and angled frame of the silvertoned photograms mark the space in different segments and open up new reading directions, both of the artwork and the architecture that surrounds it. Freestanding paneled works from this series have first been presented at the Walker Art Center in 2014, where Deschenes’ works echoed different architectural features of the Walker’s 1971 building, especially the stairs that take visitors from one gallery to the building’s outdoor terraces. For Deschenes’ year-long installation at MassMOCA in 2015, translucent acrylic panels made the elements relate to one another and multiply angles of view.

Sarah Charlesworth was born in 1947 in East Orange, New Jersey, and passed away in 2013 in Falls Village, Connecticut. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of institutions, including a solo survey exhibition at New Museum, New York (2015) and a retrospective organized by SITE Santa Fe (1997), which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1998); the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (1998); and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (1999). Charlesworth’s Stills series was recently completed and presented for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the 77th Whitney Biennial, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Shock the News, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (2012); Signs of a Struggle: Photography in the Wake of Postmodernism, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2011); September 11, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); The Last Newspaper, the New Museum, New York (2010); The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); and The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography 1960-1982, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2004). Charlesworth taught photography for many years at the School of the Visual Arts, New York; the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; and Princeton University, NJ.

Liz Deschenes’ work is part of the permanent collections of Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C; Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C. and CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on Hudson. Deschenes has a current survey exhibition at the ICA Boston with an accompanying monograph. She recently had solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2014); at MASSMoCA, North Adams (2015) and at Secession, Vienna (2012-2013). Deschenes’ work is currently on view at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner travelling from the Whitney Museum, New York. Past exhibitions include Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions at MoMA, New York; the Whitney Biennial 2012 and Parcours at the Art Institute of Chicago with Florian Pumhösl (2013).