David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of work by celebrated American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia (b. 1951), on view at the gallery’s Hong Kong location.
The show will mark the artist’s first solo exhibition in Greater China and his sixth with the gallery.
The first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by Philip-Lorca diCorcia spans the breadth of his influential career. On view will be photographs from series including East of Eden (2008–ongoing), Heads (2000–2001), Hustlers (1990–1992), and Streetwork (1993–1999), as well as a selection of his Polaroid photographs and early images from the 1980s.
Born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut, diCorcia has described his creative path from a perspective of instability and resistance. “Art is not a career for me,—it never really was,” he said in 2015. “This romantic vision of an artist, the one that I grew up with in which you follow a sort of strange sensibility or your heart, mind, or muse … there is no such thing anymore.”
Part of a generation of photographers determined to test the boundaries of the medium, diCorcia is known for images that are at once documentary and theatrically staged, operating in a space between fact and fiction. According to Arthur Lubow, writing in The New York Times, “When Mr. diCorcia, then an unknown photographer, dropped off his portfolio at the Museum of Modern Art in 1983, the curators waged an informal bet over whether the photographs were staged. Even connoisseurs couldn’t be sure.”
In conversation with Christoph Rabbit on the occasion of a major European retrospective in 2013, the artist explains how his work draws “from literature, from film. From whatever anyone who grew up in the United States after World War II sees as important…. And you don’t think about [photography] necessarily in terms of how to express narrative or anything like that. It’s more about the way you can shift people’s perspective and their perception of things.”
Viewed together, the works in this exhibition demonstrate the visual and conceptual depth of diCorcia’s approach, underscoring the continuing relevance of his images today. “I’m interested in the entanglement of clear language and ambiguous feelings,” he reflected in 2013. “When you structure an image so carefully and deliberately that the meaning and the narrative content are ambiguous, it creates something that is actually very true to life.”
Produced in close collaboration with the artist for a major travelling retrospective that debuted at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in 2013, this catalogue explores significant series by diCorcia, including those featured in his upcoming exhibition in Hong Kong. The book includes texts by curator Katharina Dohm and writer Geoff Dyer, as well as an interview with the artist by the author and professor Christoph Ribbat.