Friday, April 14, 2017

Larry Sultan - Here and Home at SF MOMA

Larry Sultan. Canal District, San Rafael, 2006

Opening today and running until July 23 this major retrospective examines the work and career of Larry Sultan (American, 1946–2009) an internationally renowned photographer with deep ties to the SF Bay Area as both an artist and an educator. Sultan’s often intensely personal images — many drawn from his own family’s history — blend documentary and staged elements in their explorations of storytelling, family, and domesticity.
Larry Sultan: Here and Home explores the artist’s 35-year career through more than 200 photographs, a billboard created with conceptual artist and frequent collaborator Mike Mandel, a film, and Study Hall — a room offering a unique glimpse into Sultan’s exploratory process. Works on view include Sultan’s early collaborative projects of the 1970s, made with Mandel, as well as his later work including Pictures from Home (1983–92), The Valley (1997–2003), and Homeland (2006–09).
You can see more on the SF MOMA website HERE.

Larry Sultan, from the series Pictures From Home, 1984

Larry Sultan, from the series Pictures From Home, 1984

Coinciding with the SF MOMA show MACK BOOKS have reissued and updated Larry Sultan's seminal 1992 bookwork Pictures From Home.

MACK says this: What drives me to continue this work is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology. With being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. And in the odd and jumbled process of working, everything shifts: the boundaries blur, my distance slips, the arrogance and illusion of immunity falters. I wake up in the middle of the night, stunned and anguished. These are my parents. From that simple fact, everything follows.’ – Larry Sultan
First published in 1992 to wide critical acclaim, Pictures From Home is Larry Sultan’s pendant to his parents. Sultan returned home to Southern California periodically in the 1980s and the decade-long sequence moves between registers, combining contemporary photographs with film stills from home movies, fragments of conversation, Sultan’s own writings and other memorabilia. The result is a narrative collage in which the boundary between the documentary and the staged becomes increasingly ambiguous. Simultaneously the distance usually maintained between the photographer and his subjects also slips in an exchange of dialogue and emotion that is unique to this work.
Significantly increasing the page count of the original book, this MACK design of Pictures From Home clarifies the multiplicity of voices – both textual and pictorial – in order to afford a fresh perspective of this seminal body of work. Emphasizing the cinematic motion of the family’s home videos, the Super-8 film stills have been newly digitized and magnified, with select scenes running full-bleed across double-page spreads. Meanwhile, Sultan’s photographs of his parents as they go about their daily lives – against the quintessential backdrop of the Reagan-era American dream – are supplemented with previously unpublished images. Most significantly, the book honours Sultan as the oft-hailed ‘King of Colour Photography’.
You can read more on the MACK BOOKS website HERE.

Larry Sultan - Pictures From Home

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