American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia emerged in the 1980s as part of a generation of photographers who sought to explore and challenge the boundaries of the medium. Over the past three decades, he has become known for his meticulously planned and executed photographs involving a variety of individuals, including friends, relatives, anonymous strangers, pole dancers, and street hustlers, among others. Deploying his subjects in preconceived yet seemingly random positions and contexts, diCorcia’s images are far from candid snapshots, but rather explore the tension between the casual and the posed, the accidental and the fated. At once documentary and theatrical, his work operates in the interstices of fact and fiction. As Bennett Simpson notes, "the essential affect of diCorcia's work does not derive from traditional representations of empathy or closeness, but from the drama, contingency, and possible threat that occur 'across an interval'...diCorcia has always been drawn to locations that roar and pulse with instability...his art is one of stripping away sentimentality to picture a grappling with experience."1
Born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut, diCorcia attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and received his M.F.A. from Yale University in 1979. Since 2007, his work has been represented by David Zwirner, where he has had four solo exhibitions at the gallery’s New York location including Thousand (2009); Eleven (2011); and Hustlers (2013), which coincided with the publication of a large-scale book by steidldangin, also titled Hustlers. In 2015, the gallery in New York presented the artist's East of Eden series, marking its United States debut after it was first shown in 2013 at David Zwirner, London. A solo exhibition of diCorcia’s work is currently on view at the Hong Kong gallery through October 12, 2019, marking the artist’s first solo exhibition in Greater China and his sixth with the gallery.
In 2013, a major career-spanning survey of diCorcia's work, consisting of over one hundred photographs from six series, was organized by the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. The exhibition traveled later that year to the Museum De Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands, followed by The Hepworth Wakefield, England in 2014, and marked the most comprehensive presentation of his work in Europe to date.
Other museum solo exhibitions include those presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007); Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam (2006); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2003); Sprengel Museum, Hanover (2000); and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1997). The artist's first museum solo exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993.
Works by diCorcia are held in public collections internationally, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum De Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He lives and works in New York, and serves as Senior Critic at Yale University.
1 Bennett Simpson, "Philip-Lorca diCorcia: The Exploded View," in Simpson, ed., Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Exh. cat. (Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 2007), p. 25.