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Taryn Simon

The Picture Collection

February 12–March 28, 2013
Davies Street, London

Installation view, photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view, photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Installation view Photo by Mike Bruce

Works Exhibited

Taryn Simon, Folder: Express Highways, 2012 Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Express Highways, 2012

Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Accidents, 2012 Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Accidents, 2012

Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Chiaroscurro, 2012 Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Chiaroscurro, 2012

Archival pigment print, 47 × 62 inches framed (119.4 × 157.5 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Men, 2012 Archival inkjet prints comprised of 2 components, 47 × 124 inches framed, each (119.4 × 315 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Men, 2012

Archival inkjet prints comprised of 2 components, 47 × 124 inches framed, each (119.4 × 315 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Israel, 2012 Archival inkjet prints comprised of 2 components, 47 × 124 inches framed, each (119.4 × 315 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folder: Israel, 2012

Archival inkjet prints comprised of 2 components, 47 × 124 inches framed, each (119.4 × 315 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folders: Paintings, Fa–Fn; Ma–Md; Ra–Rn, 2012 Archival inkjet prints comprised of 3 components, 47 × 186 inches framed, each (119.4 × 472.4 cm), edition of 5

Taryn Simon, Folders: Paintings, Fa–Fn; Ma–Md; Ra–Rn, 2012

Archival inkjet prints comprised of 3 components, 47 × 186 inches framed, each (119.4 × 472.4 cm), edition of 5

About

Archiving systems impose an illusory structural order on the radically chaotic and indeterminate nature of everything.
—Taryn Simon

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce The Picture Collection, a new series by Taryn Simon.

The Picture Collection comprises forty-four works inspired by the New York Public Library’s picture archive, one of the august institution’s lesser-known troves. The archive contains 1.2 million prints, postcards, posters, and printed images, most of which have been cut from secondary sources, such as books and magazines. It is the largest circulating picture library in the world, organized according to a complex cataloging system of over 12,000 subject headings. Since its inception in 1915, it has been an important resource for writers, historians, artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, and advertising agencies. Diego Rivera, who made use of it for his legendary mural for the Rockefeller Center, Man at the Crossroads (1934), noted how the scope of this picture collection might go on to shape contemporary visions of America.

On the heels of such ambitious research projects as An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar and A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII, Simon taps this vast yet idiosyncratic archive to further explore the taxonomic, classificatory, and revelatory purposes of photography. The process of archiving images from many disparate sources inevitably exposes the wayward desires at work in the seemingly neutral or objective process of generic image-gathering. Not only does The Picture Collection underscore the extent to which chance, incident, and arbitrary inclusion or exclusion are written into analog cataloging systems, driven as they are by the persistent human impulse to identify, select, collate, and systematize information; as well it suggests how the earlier systems presaged digital search engines and anticipated the widespread use of applications like Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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