Wendy Ewald | Portraits and Dreams

Reading Room 8 September - 21 October 2020 
Reading Room

Exhibition Dates: September 8 – October 21, 2020


The gallery is honoured and excited to announce its representation of Wendy Ewald. In advance of a larger survey exhibition, we’re presenting a selection of her work in the Reading Room made in Kentucky, Mexico and Durham, North Carolina, to coincide with the release of Portraits and Dreams, a documentary film she co-directed with Elizabeth Barret, as well as a book of the same title published by MACK Books.


For over forty years Wendy Ewald has collaborated in art projects with children, families, women, and teachers in Labrador, Colombia, India, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, and the United States. Starting as documentary investigations of places and communities, Ewald’s projects probe questions of identity and cultural differences. In her work with children she encourages them to use cameras to record themselves, their families, and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams. Ewald herself often makes photographs within the communities she works with and has the children mark or write on her negatives. Thereby challenging the concept of who makes an image, who is the photographer, who is the subject, who is the observer, and who is the observed. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s intentions, power, and identity, Ewald creates opportunities to look at the meaning and use of photographic images in our lives with fresh perceptions.


Wendy Ewald has received many honours, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation, the Rauschenberg Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. She was a senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School from 2000-2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, New York; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the George Eastman House, Rochester; Nederlands Foto Institute, Rotterdam; the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland; the Corcoran Gallery of American Art, Washington; The Queens Museum, New York; among many others. Her work was also included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. She has published twelve books, her fifth, a retrospective documenting her projects entitled Secret Games, was published by Scalo in 2000. Two books published in 2005. A third, To The Promised Land, was published in 2006 to accompany an outdoor installation in Margate, England, with “New Starts” and refugees commissioned by Artangel. She was an artist in residence at Amherst College, Massachusetts, for eleven years where she taught the class, Collaborative Art: The Practice and Theory of Working with Communities since 2005. Her latest book, This Is Where I Live, which maps Israel/Palestine through 14 different communities, was published by MACK Books in 2015 in conjunction with a traveling exhibition, “This Place”.  America, Border, Culture, Dreamer a collaboration with young immigrants to the US was published by Little, Brown and Company in Fall 2018 to accompany a public art installation in Philadelphia.