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Comic-book style photography exhibition comes to New York

By 19th October 2021No Comments
Anne Collier

Filter #4 (Yellow), 2021 C-print Framed Dimensions: 60 x 49 x 2 inches (152.4 x 124.5 x 5.1 cm) Edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs © Anne Collier. Images courtesy of the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow

Anne Collier brings her latest series, Filter (2019-), to Anton Kern Gallery in New York until October 23

Modernity is saturated with images; as a kaleidoscope of visual culture permeates everyday life, images themselves become almost invisible in their ubiquity.

For contemporary artists such as Anne Collier, the familiarity of the visual compounds its subversive potential. One of the leading women in photography, Anne has spent her career exploring the complexity of our social and cultural relationships with images.

Her focus on analogue techniques and vintage ephemera, such as enlarged comic book fragments, reveals her detailed consideration of the production, construction, and distribution of images – the focus of her work over the past two decades.

Photographer, 2021 C-print Framed Dimensions: 76 x 60 x 2 inches (193 x 152.4 x 5.1 cm) Edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs © Anne Collier. Images courtesy of the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow

According to Anton Kern Gallery, New York – who have facilitated six solo exhibitions of Anne’s work – Anne’s innovative oeuvre exemplifies interplay between ‘(auto)biographical narratives and photography’s inherent relationship with memory, melancholia and loss’.

This Autumn, viewers will once again be able to consider these connections at Anton Kern’s latest exhibition of Anne’s work, which runs from 10th September to 23rd October 2021. Collecting many of Anne’s recent works together for the first time, Filter (2019 -) powerfully illustrates the emotional and conceptual complexity of Anne’s photography.

Woman Crying #20, 2021C-print Framed Dimensions: 68 x 51 x 2 inches(172.7 x 129.5 x 5.1 cm) Edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs © Anne Collier. Images courtesy of the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow

While works such as ‘Colour Photograph’ (2021) – a pie chart which relates various colours to states such as anger, happiness, and frustration – draw symbolic connections between art and emotion, Anne’s use of black and white photography in images such as ‘Woman Crying #20’ (2021) reiterates the fraught physicality of grief by emphasising form.

Anne’s work comprises graphic depictions in both substance and style; the comic book aesthetic to which she frequently returns offers a hypertrophic characterisation of emotion, while her recreation of these designs as photographs suggests the visceral familiarity between reality and fiction.

Color Photograph, 2021 C-print Framed Dimensions: 57 3/4 x 5 3/4 x 2 inches(146.7 x 128.9 x 5.1 cm) Edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs © Anne Collier. Images courtesy of the artist; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Galerie Neu, Berlin; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels; and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow

Applying a Kodak Color Print Viewing Filter on top of several images, Anne creates a series of ‘frames’ which – akin to the layout of comic books – convey a sequential relationship between adjacent segments. Animating her work with the transitory effect of comic book ‘gutters’, this presentation equally evokes the ambiguity and liminality of this ‘blank’ space.

Anne’s intriguing use of colour filters suggests the evolving role of images in everyday life. With the ‘filter’ becoming a common way of enhancing or obscuring photographs via social media, its presence here throws the inherent falsehood of photography into sharper relief.

However, this falsehood – rather than conflicting with everyday experience  – indelibly transforms it. As the art historian Tom McDonough has observed, ‘At this level of engagement, we become engrossed by the details of the printing process itself […] losing ourselves between the heightened emotional state depicted, its stylized representation, and the mechanical means by which it has been reproduced.’

By subtly outlining both the fallacy of images and their proximity to lived experience, Anne demonstrates how the world they create is the one we inhabit. Deftly highlighting this stirring paradox, Anne presents questions which resonate well beyond the gallery, encouraging reflection upon the ways in which ‘the manipulations inherent to the medium of photography’ alter our habitation of the world at large.

Visit Anton Kern Gallery online to discover more.

By Katherine Riley

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