ZURICH.- Fotomuseum Winterthur presents Zoe Leonard Photographs, on view through 17 February 2008. 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 earths 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 Leonards 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. Zoe Leonard has twice been selected to exhibit at the prestigious documenta, in Kassel, Germany, in 1992 and 2007.
This exhibition of the Fotomuseum Winterthur is the first to present Zoe Leonards complete oeuvre since the late 1970s. The accompanying book published by Steidl includes texts by Svetlana Alpers, Elisabeth Lebovici and Urs Stahel. Curator of the exhibition: Urs Stahel.
Main sponsor of exhibition and book: Hulda und Gustav Zumsteg-Stiftung, Zürich. Publication: "Zoe Leonard Photographs". Edited by Urs Stahel, published at Fotomuseum Winterthur and Steidl, Göttingen. With texts by Svetlana Alpers, Elisabeth Lebovici and Urs Stahel. 264 pages, 134 Triton- and 73 colour illustrations, format 24 x 30 cm, Hardcover with dust jacket. Price: CHF 65.-