Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2pm EDT
Featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Elvis Mitchell, and Jeff Tweedy
For the second episode of Gagosian Premieres, we celebrate Gregory Crewdson: An Eclipse of Moths—a new exhibition at Gagosian, Los Angeles—with author Malcolm Gladwell, film critic Elvis Mitchell, musician and author Jeff Tweedy, and the artist.
While the episode is airing, Crewdson will answer questions on YouTube LiveChat and present a signed and numbered limited-edition book, published by Aperture, with a personal inscription to one viewer who participates in the conversation.
Explore the 360° virtual tour of Gregory Crewdson: An Eclipse of Moths
These pictures are a meditation on brokenness, a search, a longing, and a yearning for meaning and transcendence. The figures are surrounded by vast decaying industrial landscapes and the impinging nature―and there’s a certain underlying suggestion of anxiety. But I hope in the end the theme of nature persisting, and of figures seeking out light, offers hope for renewal, even redemption.
Gagosian is pleased to present An Eclipse of Moths, an exhibition of new work by Gregory Crewdson.
For three decades, Crewdson’s photographs of houses, landscapes, and people have become canonical representations of the liminal and forgotten in America. Series such as Twilight (1998–2002), Beneath the Roses (2003–08), and Cathedral of the Pines (2013–14) show fantastical scenes of wonder and anxiety, their quiet, bristling stillness implying an airless claustrophobia that persists even in wide-open expanses.
An Eclipse of Moths comprises sixteen large-scale panoramic exteriors, shot using Crewdson’s famously meticulous production techniques and longtime technical crew. Set in a postindustrial urban landscape, the series depicts locales of removed isolation, each of which Crewdson spent months scouting and staging before production began: a taxi depot, a traveling carnival lot, an abandoned factory complex, defunct bars and diners, and vacant storefronts.
The series takes its title from an entomological term. Moths use transverse orientation to fly at a constant angle relative to a distant light source, such as the moon; exposure to artificial light confuses the insects’ internal navigation, changing their behavior and destination. Crewdson anchors his photographic figures in relation to a source of light: a street lamp or traffic light, or the hesitant, transitional illumination of twilight. In each image, the viewer is positioned above in a semi bird’s-eye vantage point.
Redemption Center (2018–19) is set in a parking lot where a recent thunderstorm has left behind puddles on the ground and a thick atmospheric fog hanging in midair. A wall faces the viewer, its faded lettering bearing the titular inscription. Outside the open door of a trailer, two teenagers are positioned beside a pile of returned cans and bottles. Closer in the foreground, beneath a towering lamppost, a man pauses to cast his gaze down at a mysterious scattering of rose petals floating on a large puddle. The figure, unmoored from time and place, appears frozen with climactic hesitation.
In scenes that combine hope with the forgotten and restlessness with ennui, the world of these photographs is laden with premonition. Confounding the eerie, elusive intimacy of an Edward Hopper painting with a Hitchcockian cinematic and compositional precision, Crewdson’s images create wordless, open-ended narratives populated by characters and places that feel remote and unsettling—yet deeply familiar.
A limited-edition book with a text by Jeff Tweedy, published in a series of 750 signed copies, will be released by Aperture to coincide with the exhibition.
Gregory Crewdson: An Eclipse of Moths
Gregory Crewdson discusses his new work with actor Cate Blanchett.
Gregory Crewdson: Cathedral of the Pines
In his latest series of large-format color photographs, Cathedral of the Pines, Crewdson takes the viewer to the forests of Becket, Massachusetts—the locale of his earliest childhood memories and his home since 2011.
Extended through March 12, 2016
Cathedral of the Pines
January 28–March 12, 2016
West 21st Street, New York