‘Notions of Home’ at Yancey Richardson

Art Scene

‘Notions of Home’ at Yancey Richardson

The idea and concept of home in contemporary culture is at the forefront of global discourses on immigration, migration, social unrest, and economics due to the very real physical displacement of millions of people around the world. Whether voluntary, forced, or constantly in a state of flux, the actual and potential movement of people looking for a place to call home is a reminder of the difference between a house or shelter and the treasured retreat known as a home.

Landscapes for the Homeless #14, 1990. Vintage cibachrome print.

© Anthony Hernandez, courtesy of the artist, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

The exhibition, Notions of Home, at Yancey Richardson, offers a contemplative and diverse take on the subject and highlights tangible, symbolic, transient, and extravagant photographic renderings of specific places. Each photograph featured in the group show powerfully utilizes the photographic medium to generate a palpably quiet emotional resonance; despite distinct differences in the subject matter on view. The slowing down to still life and framing of particular scenes that are each unique, yet linked by a shared quest for a familiar place of sanctuary, is potent when examined en masse.

Casa Veraniega, Galeria, Havana, 1998. Chromogenic print.

© Andrew Moore, courtesy of the artist, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

In the image Landscapes for the Homeless #14, by Anthony Hernandez, the front of a makeshift outdoor shelter made of an old yellow blanket draped over a string tied between two trees is on view. The blanket functions as a curtain creating a sense of privacy, while a bevy of large green leaves cascades over it and around the edges of the image frame. Additional scrunched up blankets can be glimpsed beyond one edge of the curtain, suggesting the collection of materials for warmth and comfort by the inhabitants of the space.

Athens, GA (balloon at dusk), 1995. Gelatin silver print.

© Mark Steinmetz, courtesy of the artist, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Remnants of a meal including glasses, plates, food, wine, and pans can be found in a few images in the exhibition. In the case of Untitled #38 from the series Hardly More Than Ever, by Laura Letinsky, and Apartment 304, 398 Main St, by Mitch Epstein, dirty dishes left on a table and in a sink evoke a sense of freedom or carefreeness that can be found in the private space of a home. Human beings can be sensed, but not seen, in the images.

Untitled #38 from the series Hardly More Than Ever, 2010. Chromogenic print.

© Laura Letinsky, courtesy of the artist, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

The exhibition features work by a highly regarded group of photographers including: John Baldessari, Tina Barney, Amy Elkins, Mitch Epstein, Samuel Gratacap, Jitka Hanzlova, Anthony Hernandez, David Hilliard, Justine Kurland, Lisa Kereszi, Laura Letinsky, Alex MacLean, Esko Mannikko, Andrew Moore, Mark Ruwedel, Julius Shulman, Mark Steinmetz, and Larry Sultan. An eclectic individuality can be found in the presentation of the work by the curatorial choice to encase each piece in its own unique frame. The lack of uniformity in the installation is a refreshing reminder of how the life of human beings is inextricably tied to personalized expressions of home.

Apartment 304, 398 Main St., 2001. Chromogenic print.

© Mitch Epstein, courtesy of the artist, and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Notions of Home at Yancey Richardson is on view through August 25, 2017.