JED DEVINE's Exhibition
Opening Reception: February 6, 6-8pm
Bonni Benrubi Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new work by Jed Devine. The exhibition, which will feature images focused on the interior spaces of the artist's daily life and experience, represents a significant new development in the career of this important photographer.
For the past forty years, he has been celebrated for his platinum palladium prints, distinguished by their delicate small-scale black and white still lifes, landscapes, and portraiture. (A selection of which will be on view in the Project Space.) These new photographs at the Benrubi Gallery finds Devine shifting his approach dramatically as his palette expands to include digital color photography. In his work over the past year, Devine has created layered imagery that provides a diary of domestic activities as well as a library of the images that have defined his sensibility.
Those images are both commercial and classical as the viewer encounters icons of art history juxtaposed with contemporary painting, commercial illustration, photojournalism, and three-dimensional household items. Devine's everyday objects and reproductions of the flat art he finds on his breakfast table impart a compelling two-dimensional sculptural quality. We find ourselves asking where the photograph as object now resides in the age of post-appropriation and image saturation.
Devine's new images are thus eclectic collages veering gently into the realm of abstraction. Humorous, surprising, and challenging, this work has a decisive place in the evolution of the artist's career, contextualizing the earlier images as pieces in what we can now understand to be a culminating point in the artist's lifelong image-making.
Jed Devine was born in Mount Kisco, New York in 1944, and received his MFA from Yale University in 1972. His photography is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the San Francisco Museum of Art, California; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He received a Guggenheim in 1985.
Jed Devine was born in Mount Kisco, NY in 1944, and received an MFA from Yale in 1972. Originally trained as a painter, Devine began taking photographs in 1972 and became fascinated by the effects of light on objects and surfaces, and the sensuality that was possible with the platinum-palladium process.
This sensuality is on full display in Devine’s only book, Friendship, a collaboration with the writer Jim Dinsmore, whose sixty-four images “form an extended sequence that moves from innocence to decay and return. The images emphasize the beauty and primacy of light while capturing the visual drama and irony of the Maine landscape.”
Devine also has a long-standing relationship with New York City, which is most evident in his portfolio of panoramic photographs celebrating New York bridges, which, though printed on a small scale, still capture the grandeur of the monumental structures spanning the Hudson and East Rivers. These historic images exist in dialogue with The Bethesda Terrace, which showcases the well-frequented romantic spot in the middle of Central Park. Devine was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for The Bethesda Terrace in 1985.
When Devine developed problems with his balance as a result of inner-ear issues, he switched to smaller cameras and ultimately to digital. The artist describes this forced change of format as a “disguised blessing”: “Everything was new again. More spontaneous, more flexible, more surprising.” His most recent exhibition featured layers of imagery—art books and postcards, batteries, rubber bands, dice, and hard-boiled eggs on breakfast tables—that provide a diary of domestic activities as well as a library of the images that have defined the artist’s sensibility. The resulting eclectic collages veer gently into the realm of abstraction; at once concrete and elusive, they are, in the artist’s words, “wildly gregarious, and when they get together they often surprise with unexpected connections.”
Devine’s photographs are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.