JoAnn Verburg: Interruptions
March 25–May 1, 2010
32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY
Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present Interruptions, JoAnn Verburg's photographs made in Spoleto, Italy, featuring recent portraits and large single and multi-panel architectural pigment prints (2009). This marks Verburg's first exhibition since her solo show at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 2007-08. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Steidl and includes an essay by Walter Liedtke, Curator of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In partnership with Spoleto Festival USA, photographs from this series will also be on view at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina, from May 28 until August 22, 2010.
Using a 5 x 7 inch view camera and analog sheet film, Verburg has photographed the narrow streets and passageways of the historic center of Spoleto, Italy, an ancient Umbrian city where she and her husband, poet Jim Moore, live part-time. The images depict angled building facades, receding courtyards and transitory corridors that emphasize the subjectivity of perception and observation through calculated shifts in her camera's focus and perspective. In contrast, Verburg's tightly cropped, close-ups of Spoleto's residents are timeless yet grounded compositions. These portraits remain elusive and at the margins of a specific place and time, however, with no immediate reference to their surroundings at-large. When viewed together, the cityscapes become backdrops into which the photographed individuals could wander at any time. In his essay, Liedtke notes: "Verburg has learned that all observation, including the seemingly most objective, is always subjective, selective, slanted, focused, blurred, disconnected, or somehow interrupted."
JoAnn Verburg (b. 1950) received a BA in sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has held teaching positions at Yale University and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Verburg is the recipient of numerous honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1986), multiple artist fellowships from the Bush Foundation (1983, 1993) and the McKnight Foundation (1994, 2004), and a Rockefeller Foundation Residency at the Bellagio Conference and Study Center, Bellagio, Italy (1998).
Verburg has exhibited her work extensively in the United States and abroad. Most recently, The Museum of Modern Art mounted "Present Tense," a mid-career retrospective that traveled to the Walker Art Center (2007-08). Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions and can be found in permanent collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Her photographs have been published in Second View: The Rephotographic Survey Project (1984), Picturing Eden (2006), and Present Tense: Photographs by JoAnn Verburg (2007).