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Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines
Text by Alexander Nemerov.
Cathedral of the Pines presents Gregory Crewdson’s first new body of work in over five years. The series marks a return to Crewdson’s classic style of storytelling via the single image, using light and color to create newly intimate, psychologically charged imagery. It also marks a time of transition for the artist, including a retreat from New York to a remote home and studio in western Massachusetts—a period of time during which Crewdson chose to remain socially withdrawn, instead committing to daily, long-distance, open-water swims and cross-country skiing on wooded paths. Cathedral of the Pines is named after one of these trails, deep in the forests of Becket, Massachusetts, the site where he found the inspiration to make these new pictures. It was there that he felt darkness lift, experienced a reconnection with his artistic process, and moved into a period of renewal and intense creative productivity. The photographs are accompanied by an essay by Alexander Nemerov, who addresses the work in relation to the American past, focusing in particular on the way the images draw space and time down to ceremonial points, in which "all that ever happened in these places seems crystallized in his tableaux, as if the quiet melancholy of Crewdson’s scenes gathered the unruly sorrows and other little-guessed feelings of people long gone who once stood on those spots."
Gregory Crewdson (born 1962) is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and the Yale School of Art, where he is now Director of Graduate Studies in Photography. His series Beneath the Roses is the subject of the 2012 documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters. His work has been exhibited widely in the US and Europe, including a survey that toured throughout Europe from 2001 to 2008. He is represented by Gagosian Gallery, New York.
"The Disturbance" is reproduced from Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Crewdson is going deeper, using friends and family in some pictures (a rare departure), making smaller-scale prints than usual - and generally honing his famed psychological acuity.
The cinematic leitmotifs are quintessential Crewdson. Forest clearings, anonymous townscapes and nondescript interiors become elaborately staged, suspenseful images that explore the recesses of the American psyche and the disquieting dramas of American daily life.
The New York Times
[Crewdson] reclaims his spot as a heavy-weight of staged photography and a chronicler of white existentialist angst, marking... the passing of time and epochs in American history.
American Photo Magazine
Though his characters seem to share a sense of wistful foreboding, the naturalistic surroundings lend a mood of beautiful, if indifferent, continuity to life in the woods.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/28/2016
"The blonde woman with the tan lines and darkened eyes sits on the bumper of a pickup truck," Alexander Nemerov begins his essay on Gregory Crewdson's work in relation to the American past. "A man, naked, lies face down on the truck's bed. For the woman, the only time is now. Whatever grief or disappointment governs her isolation—whatever has just gone wrong or right—she knows only the moment. To talk of history with her makes no sense, unless we think of her own immediate past, what happened there, what brought these two to this place. A vaster time—what occurred, say, before she was born—does not matter in the privacy of her misfortune. Yet a sense of the past—of American history—governs Gregory Crewdson's work." Featured image is Pickup Truck. continue to blog
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/29/2016
"In 2010, I moved out of New York during a dark period. My sense of self, security, confidence and equilibrium had been shaken. I felt displaced. I created a new home and studio in a remote side-by-side church and firehouse in the Berkshires. But whereas picture-making had always ben my compass and the central meaning in my life, during this time, for over three years, I did not make a single picture… Two years passed in this way, until one day I was on a ski trail deep in the Becket woods called Cathedral of the Pines. I found myself overcome with a new feeling: I became aware that the darkness around me was lifting. I felt connected to myself again, felt a desire to make pictures, in a way that felt old and new at the same time. It was a revelation, a rebirth." Featured image is Woman at Sink. continue to blog