Roe Ethridge’s photography emanates from his direct experience of the world. His oeuvre melds conceptual photography with commercial work, including outtakes from his own shoots and borrowed images already in circulation in other contexts. With this democratic attitude, Ethridge works to capture the vivid and intimate details of his shifting locales within photography’s classic genres of portrait, landscape, and still life. The diverse and sometimes abstruse nature of Ethridge’s imagery—vintage movie posters, fashion models, a pink rose, a mop bucket, a concrete mixer—oscillates between the spontaneous and the staged with such subtlety that it is often difficult to ascertain his elected approach with regard to individual images. Drawing upon photography’s descriptive power and its accessibility, he copies and recombines images, subverting their original status in order to regenerate their signifying possibilities, and in so doing, infuse them with a new sense of mysterious contingency.
Ethridge was born in 1969 in Miami. He received a BFA in photography in 1995 from the Atlanta College of Art. Ethridge’s work has been shown extensively around the world; exhibitions include Greater New York, MoMA PS1, New York (2000); The Americans, Barbican Centre, London (2001); Hello My Name Is . . . , Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2002); Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Florida (2004); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); Rencontres d’Arles, France (2011); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015). Solo museum exhibitions include Momentum 4: Roe Ethridge, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005); Roe Ethridge—Selected Works, Charles Riva Collection, Brussels (2012); Roe Ethridge, Le Consortium, Dijon (2012, traveled to Museum Leuven, Belgium); and Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor, FotoFocus Biennial, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2016). Ethridge’s work was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.
Ethridge lives and works in New York.
September 21–October 28, 2017
September 6–October 9, 2013
Le Luxe II BHGG
June 9–July 22, 2011
Apple and Cigarettes
May 25–July 7, 2006
From the Quarterly
Opened August 18, 2018
Marciano Foundation, Los Angeles
Mad World brings together works from the Marciano collection that reflect the rampant absurdities of contemporary life. Many works address the overwhelming accumulation of information, images, and ideas emanating from our phones, computers, billboards, televisions, and radios. Work by Roe Ethridge, Urs Fischer, and Nate Lowman is included.
Urs Fischer, Green Solace, 16 Handles, Red Solace, 2017 © Urs Fischer. Photo: Mats Nordman