ROSALIND FOX SOLOMON
Opening Reception and Book Signing: Saturday, September 15, 2-5pm
Guided Tour of the Exhibition with Rosalind Fox Solomon: Saturday, September 15, 3pm
Exhibition Dates: September 15 – October 13, 2018
Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present “Liberty Theater”, our first solo exhibition of work by Rosalind Fox Solomon, presented in conjunction with the release of her most recent monograph Liberty Theater, published by MACK, United Kingdom.
“Liberty Theater” brings together Fox Solomon’s photographs made in the Southern United States from the 1970s to the 1990s. Never before exhibited as a group, the images depict a complex terrain of social and emotional issues inherited over generations. This includes a world of class and gender divisions, implied and overt racism, competing notions of liberty, and an undercurrent of violence.
The project began 40 years ago in Scottsboro, Alabama, at a monthly market around the courthouse where, in a historic case of injustice, seven young men of colour were falsely accused of rape and sentenced to jail for the better part of their lives.
Over a period of four years, Fox Solomon worked in Scottsboro. She photographed people and still life, and began her series “Ritual”. The project continued as she traveled through Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Through the images taken in these locations, Fox Solomon draws attention to cultural idiosyncrasies, paradoxes, and theatrical displays. An image of a daughter of the Confederacy in costume with a china doll from her collection is juxtaposed by an image of two young African American boys examining a vitrine of guns as white police mannequins loom behind them. Poised between act and re-enactment, the animate and the inanimate, Fox Solomon’s images reveal how history becomes a vernacular performance.
Although this work only touches on positive change in race relations that have occurred since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the images harken back to a time when racial discrimination was normalized through the veneer of plantation culture. The unmasked Ku Klux Klan in the Charlottesville demonstrations of 2017 and emboldened far right speak to the underlay of racism that persists in the United States today.
(b. Highland Park, USA, 1930)
Rosalind Fox Solomon has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a grant from the American Institute of Indian Studies.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, has supported her work since John Szarkowski first acquired it in the late seventies. In 1986, Peter Galassi, a curator of Photography at MoMA, organized a solo exhibition of her work entitled “Rosalind Solomon, Ritual”. In 1988, The Grey Gallery of Art, New York, mounted Fox Solomon’s solo exhibition “Portraits in the Time of AIDS”.
In 2003 the Photographische Sammlung in Cologne mounted Fox Solomon’s exhibition “Chapalingas”, accompanied by her first monograph published by Steidl. In 2005, the Willy Brandt-Haus in Berlin mounted “Poland Close and Distant”, followed by the release of Fox Solomon’s second book, Polish Shadow, published by Steidl in 2006.
In 2010, the New York Film and Video Festival awarded her movie A Woman I Once Knew with Best Experimental Short.
THEM, a monograph of her photographs of pilgrims, African immigrants, Israelis, and Palestinians was released by MACK in 2014. This book was part of the project “This Place”, which explored the complexity of the West Bank through the eyes of twelve internationally known photographers. The exhibition opened in Europe in 2014 before travelling to Israel and the United States.
In 2015, a selection of photographs from her 1988 solo exhibition “Portraits in the Time of AIDS” was shown at Paris Photo in the Grand Palais Salon d’Honneur.
MACK released Got to Go in 2016 concurrent with the exhibition at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. The show included the work titled “Scintillation”, a large three-screen audio-visual piece. During the summer of 2018, Bruce Silverstein Gallery’s exhibition “We Are The Subject”, included works by Lisette Model, Diane Arbus, and Rosalind Fox Solomon.
Fox Solomon’s work is in the collections of over 50 museums, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; George Eastman House, Rochester; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; National Gallery of Art, Washington; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Photographische Sammlung, Cologne; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Rijks Museum, Amsterdam. She lives and works in New York City.