Fragments of Time Past
January 7–20, 2021
Nothing is solid in memory. Our minds only hold on to traces, outlines—and that is what my photographs portray.
Since the 1990s, Lutter has used a camera obscura to produce large black-and-white photographs of buildings, landscapes, and urban and industrial sites. Reveling in the directness of this technique, she produces unique prints that imbue physical environments and buildings with an ethereal stillness. Reinterpreting familiar panoramas, Lutter erases fleeting human presence and collapses the movement of wind and water in long-exposure images that prompt reflection on the passage of time.
In Fragments of Time Past, Lutter depicts four different ancient and historical sites: the pyramids at Giza, the ancient Greek temples at Paestum, the eleventh-century Maria Laach Benedictine abbey in Germany, and the distinctive waterways and buildings of Venice during the city’s yearly acqua alta flood season. Presented in a monochromatic photonegative palette, these iconic landmarks and relics take on a new and uncanny visual life: lively canals are smoothed to glossy stillness and solid ground drops away, leaving behind skeletal architectural structures silhouetted against black skies.
Vera Lutter in her studio, New York, 2020. Artwork © Vera Lutter. Photo: Lukas Vogt
Museum in the Camera
Friday, January 29, 2021, 3–4pm EST
Join Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan and the museum’s associate curator of contemporary art Jennifer King for an insightful conversation and tour of the exhibition Vera Lutter: Museum in the Camera. Between February 2017 and January 2019, Lutter documented LACMA using a camera obscura, creating photographs that examine the museum’s exterior architecture, gallery interiors, and permanent collection. Museum in the Camera features the compelling photographs made during this two-year residency. To watch the live event, RSVP at lacma.org.
Installation view, Vera Lutter: Museum in the Camera, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 29–August 9, 2020. Artwork © Vera Lutter. Photo: © Museum Associates/LACMA
Museum in the Artist’s Camera Obscura
This short film, produced by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), features rare behind-the-scenes footage of Vera Lutter, her assistants, and the LACMA staff, filmed during the artist’s residency at the institution. Lutter and museum curator Jennifer King offer their insights into the artistic process and discuss the meanings they find in these dreamlike photographs.
Still from “Vera Lutter: Museum in the Artist’s Camera Obscura”
Friday, May 18, 2018, 2:30–3:30pm
Somerset House, London
On the occasion of Photo London, Vera Lutter and Martin Barnes, senior curator of photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, will speak about Lutter’s exploration of light, time, and movement and her use of a room-sized camera obscura to capture architecture, urban landscapes, and industrial sites. The pair will also discuss her decision to retain the negative image and refrain from multiplication or reproduction. To attend the event, purchase tickets at photolondon.org.
Vera Lutter, Cold Spring, IX: February 17, 2014, 2014
Light and Lightning: Wonder-Reactions at Walter De Maria's The Lightning Field
In this second installment of a two-part essay, John Elderfield resumes his investigation of Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), focusing this time on how the hope to see lightning there has led to the work’s association with the Romantic conception of the sublime.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021
The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.
Mixtape: Spencer Sweeney
Spencer Sweeney shares a selection of songs that have punctuated his journey through the pandemic and ponders the expressive powers of a playlist.
The New York Public Library’s Picture Collection
Joshua Chuang, the Robert B. Menschel Senior Curator of Photography at the New York Public Library, discusses the institution’s singular Picture Collection, the artist Taryn Simon’s rigorous engagement with it, and four instances of its little-known role in the history of art making.
Conclusions Never Reached: Nancy Rubins in Fluid Space
Sara Softness reflects on a new series of sculptures by Nancy Rubins, Fluid Space (2019–21), “visual poems” that hint at the invisible and the unknown.
Tatiana Trouvé: From March to May
A portfolio of the artist’s drawings made during lockdown. Text by Jesi Khadivi.
Social Works: The Archives of Frankie Knuckles Organized by Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates, steward of the Frankie Knuckles record collection, is engaging with the late DJ and musician’s archive of records, ephemera, and personal effects. For the Quarterly’s “Social Works” supplement, guest edited by Antwaun Sargent, Gates presents a selection of Knuckles’s personal record collection. Chantala Kommanivanh, a Chicago-based artist, educator, and musician—and the records manager for Rebuild Foundation, Chicago—provides annotations, contextualizing these records’ importance and unique qualities. Ron Trent, a dear friend of Knuckles’s, speaks to the legacy evinced by these materials.
Taryn Simon and Teju Cole
This spring, as part of the Lambert Family Lecture Series at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Taryn Simon joined Teju Cole for an online conversation about her artistic practice and creative process.
Social Works: Carrie Mae Weems and Maya Phillips
A pairing of photography and poetry from “Social Works,” a supplement guest edited by Antwaun Sargent for the Summer 2021 issue of the Quarterly.
Mercury Was There
A short story by Libby Flores, published here on the occasion of the Quarterly’s collaboration with pen America.
Fashion & Art: Valentino Des Ateliers
Author and curator Gianluigi Ricuperati speaks to the Quarterly’s Wyatt Allgeier about his curatorial involvement in Valentino Des Ateliers, a collaborative project devised by Valentino’s creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, in partnership with Ricuperati. Working in a symbiotic manner, Piccioli and the Valentino Haute Couture team engaged in a dialogue with artists Joel S. Allen, Anastasia Bay, Benni Bosetto, Katrin Bremermann, Guglielmo Castelli, Maurizio Cilli, Danilo Correale, Luca Coser, Jamie Nares, Francis Offman, Andrea Respino, Wu Rui, Sofia Silva, Alessandro Teoldi, Patricia Treib, and Malte Zenses, along with the participation of Kerstin Bratsch, to arrive at a singular couture collection.
Gregory Corso: A Most Dangerous Art
On the occasion of the forthcoming publication of The Golden Dot: Last Poems by Gregory Corso, Raymond Foye reflects on the poet’s enduring engagement with the human condition and explores the unique structure of this final collection.