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Head to Head

September 12, 2015 – October 17, 2015

“Head to Head” takes John Baldessari’s “Double Bill (Part 2): …and Sander” as the centerpiece.  Baldessari’s work starts with images of two pre-existing gelatin silver print photographs.  The figure on the left is taken from a section of the early 20th Century German photographer August Sander’s “The lord of the manor (Der Herrenbauer)” and the figure on the right is taken from a section of Diane Arbus’ iconic “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967”.  Unlike the originals, Baldessari uses silkscreen to print the images, a reference to commercial printing, a process stating that these are reproductions and a way to bring the two images to the same point (in time, in surface, etc.).  Baldessari’s actions, though, do not end there.  He has cropped off the faces of both figures, added extra space at the bottom of the page and added the text “… AND SANDER”.

The united form of the two fragments looks almost as if it could be the Arbus image of twins, two females side-by-side.  By cropping the imagery below the faces, the identifiable image of the woman in Sander’s photograph is not shown, thus leaving the viewer fewer details to notice the “substitution”.  The text makes clear that Sander is ‘added’ by the word “AND” being directly in front of “SANDER”, yet to what Sander is added is left to be explored.  Possible questions to be posed are: ‘Is Baldessari saying that Sander’s image should be as iconic as Arbus’?’,  ‘Were Arbus and Sander similar in their ‘projects’?’, and ‘Is time something that confuses comparisons?’, among many others.   The opportunities for critical thought through visual appreciation and exploration are many on account of the juxtapositions, cropping and additions.  These techniques, while not unique to Baldessari or his work, display his deftness at using iconic, socially legible and other ‘weighted’ imagery, in conjunction with text and cropping to create powerful, socially-minded works.

Perhaps as an ode to this work and to Baldessari’s thinking, Barbara Krakow Gallery presents selections of both Arbus’ and Sanders’ photographs of pairs of people.  Business, family, friendship, love and family are all relationships depicted within the photos and by presenting them all together, with Baldessari’s work, viewers have an opportunity to explore relationships through concept, historiography, purpose, structure, time and social ‘baggage’.

Works In Exhibition

Country Girls

August Sander Country Girls 1925, printed 1990 Black and white silver gelatin photograph NB I/1/16

Image/paper size:  10 1/4 x 7 1/8 inches  (26 x 18.1 cm)
Edition of 12
Photographer’s blindstamp on image lower left corner recto; Sander Archive stamp verso in ink; Printed by Gerd Sander.
©August Sander Archiv / SK-Stiftung Kultur, Köln
(Inventory #27550)

 

 

Boxers Paul Röderstein and Heinz Heese, Köln

August Sander Boxers Paul Röderstein and Heinz Heese, Köln c. 1928, printed later Black and white silver gelatin photograph NB I/7/8

Image/paper size:  10 1/4 x 6 5/8 inches  (26 x 16.8 cm)
Edition of 12
Photographer’s blindstamp on image lower left corner recto; Sander Archive stamp verso in ink; Printed by Gerd Sander.
©August Sander Archiv / SK-Stiftung Kultur, Köln
(Inventory #27549)

 

 

Middle-Class Children

August Sander Middle-Class Children ca. 1925-26, printed 1990 Black and white silver gelatin photograph

Image/paper size:  10 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches  (26 x 18.4 cm)
Edition of 12
Photographer’s blindstamp on image lower left corner recto; Sander Archive stamp verso in ink; Printed by Gerd Sander.
©August Sander Archiv / SK-Stiftung Kultur, Köln
(Inventory #27551)

 

 

Double Bill (Part 2):…and Sander

John Baldessari Double Bill (Part 2):…and Sander 2012 Lithograph

Image/paper size:  23 9/16 x 18 inches  (59.8 x 45.7 cm)
Edition of 34
Signed and dated lower right, numbered lower left
(Inventory #27526)

6 photographs from the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s:

Diane Arbus 6 photographs from the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s:

 

Untitled (24) 1970-71

Two girls in matching bathing suits, Coney Island, N.Y. 1967

Two female impersonators backstage, N.Y.C. 1962

Jorge Luis Borges with his wife in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1969

Girl and boy, Washington Square Park, N.Y.C. 1965

Elderly couple on a park bench, N.Y.C. 1969

More info available upon request.

Exhibition View

Exhibition View

August Sander and John Baldessari

Exhibition View

August Sander Exhibition View

Exhibition View

Exhibition View

August Sander and John Baldessari