Zoe Leonard – Photographs
For more than twenty years, the American artist Zoe Leonard (born in 1961, in Liberty, New York) has been practicing the art of the contemplative journey and the perceptive gaze. She trawls through nature and culture, through the (urban) landscape and the world of museums, in search of signs that might give some insight into their contrasts, similarities and inter-relationships. In her photographs, as we look down at the Niagara Falls, we see the rushing waters pour into a massive cleft in the earth’s crust; we see railway tracks sweeping across the globe; we see the patterns of modern urban existence, work and life pressed into right angles and tubes. We find ourselves looking at maps and anatomical models, peering into showcases, museums and shops, watching the gender struggle, the structure of thought and memory, made aware of the balance between photographic material and photographic seeing.
Zoe Leonard’s predominantly black-and-white photographs are like a blurred cartography of the human condition. Her idiosyncratic gaze finds photographs that are subversive in their questioning, casual in their approach, incisive in what they reveal; they are photographs that are cast aside and later reprised until the point at which the form of the photographic image is resolved. In other words, until the view, the subject matter and the theme are combined in their entirety, until they are almost melded together.
This exhibition of Fotomuseum Winterthur, curated by Urs Stahel, is the first to present Zoe Leonard’s complete oeuvre since the late 1970s. A cooperation with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and the MUMOK, Vienna.
Main sponsor: Hulda and Gustav Zumsteg-Foundation