Zoe Leonard: A View from the Levee

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Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm

Karl-Marx-Allee 45, D-10178, Berlin, Germany
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-6pm


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Zoe Leonard: A View from the Levee

Berlin

Zoe Leonard: A View from the Levee
to Sat 16 Apr 2022
Tue-Sat 11am-6pm
Artist: Zoe Leonard

Capitain Petzel presents A View from the Levee by Zoe Leonard, the artist’s first solo exhibition at the Berlin gallery.

Artworks

Prologue, 2017/2022

C-prints
40 parts Each 35.4 x 50.5 cm / 13.9 x 19.9 inches Unframed, behind glass
Edition of 3. Each numbered verso; signed, dated and titled verso on the last print

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A view from the levee, 2018/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.2 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From West Paisano Drive, El Paso, 2020/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 78.1 x 95.1 cm / 30.7 x 37.4 inches Framed dimensions: 86 x 103 cm / 33.9 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From Puente El Porvenir, 2019/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.1 cm / 26.4 x 37.4 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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By the side of the road, Peñitas, 2020/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.2 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From the levee, Ojinaga, 2017/2022

Signed, dated and titled verso
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.2 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Gelatin silver print

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Standing on the levee, Ciudad Juárez, 2018/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.1 cm / 26.4 x 37.4 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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Boundary Marker No. 1, 2020/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.3 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From the Puente Colombia, looking downstream, 2017/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 67 x 95.1 cm / 26.4 x 37.4 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From the Puente Colombia, looking upstream, 2017/2022

Gelatin silver print
Paper dimensions: 66.9 x 95.1 cm / 26.3 x 37.4 inches Framed dimensions: 75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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Untitled, 2020/2022

Gelatin silver prints
2 parts Each 42.1 x 60.3 cm / 16.6 x 23.7 inches Unframed, behind glass
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

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From my hotel room in Laredo, 2019/2022

Gelatin silver prints,
4 parts Each 42 x 60.4 cm / 16.5 x 23.8 inches Unframed, behind glass
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

contact gallery

Untitled, 2020/2022

Gelatin silver prints
4 parts Each 42.1 x 60.5 cm / 16.6 x 23.8 inches Unframed, behind glass
Signed, dated and titled verso

contact gallery

By the Railroad Bridge, El Paso, 2018/2022

Gelatin silver prints
4 parts Each 42 x 60.5 cm / 16.5 x 23.8 inches Unframed, behind glass
Edition of 3. Signed, dated and titled verso

contact gallery

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Across sculpture, photography and installation, Zoe Leonard (b. 1961, Liberty, New York) examines the conditions of image making while exploring themes such as gender and sexuality, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape. Leonard self-reflexively considers the role which the medium plays in the construction of society and history, encouraging the viewer to re-consider the act of looking and observation.

Since 2016, Leonard has photographed along the 2,000 km long river Rio Grande (as it is named in the United States) or Río Bravo (as it is named in Mexico) which is used to demarcate the international border between the two countries. The artist followed the river from the border cities Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico.

The exhibition A View from the Levee, Leonard’s first solo presentation at Capitain Petzel, features a selection of works from this project. Presented in the main hall of the gallery is the 40-piece “Prologue”, a depiction of the rivers’ surface meandering along the staggered walls.

Taking the unique location and architecture of the gallery – a modernist glass pavilion on Karl-Marx-Allee – as a point of departure for her selection, Leonard centers her show on the idea of lines of demarcation, in the political sense. In the once bisected city of Berlin a river flows from East to West, with as much potential for connection as for division. The b/w photographs on view at Capitain Petzel provide an understanding of the terrain and dynamics of border wall construction as well as dams, irrigation systems, detention centers and checkpoints. Leonard considers the paradox of “asking a natural feature to perform a political job”.

The political, social and natural collide as the river flows through changing landscapes. Leonard took these photographs from both sides of the border, from points accessible to the public – observing what is in plain sight. Engaging with traditions of documentary photography and investigating the complexities of a subjective gaze, Leonard observes her subject with unwavering precision.

Since the beginning of the project, the U.S.-Mexican border has increasingly become a central theme of political discourse. Correspondingly, physical changes reflect the growing tension; military presence has increased significantly on the border, while new infrastructure is being constructed to surveil and control the passage of goods and the movement of people. In this way, the photographs depict not only the varied terrain through which the river flows but also a changing socio-political landscape.

Al Río / To the River, an epic work of over 500 photographs drawn from the same project along the Río Bravo / Rio Grande, premiered in Zoe Leonard’s eponymous solo presentation at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, where it is on view until June 6, 2022, traveling to Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in October 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a two-volume publication (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2022).

This exhibition was realized in close collaboration with Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.

Zoe Leonard is among the most influential artists of her generation. Her work merges photography, sculpture, and installation, balancing rigorous conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision.

Leonard has exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally since the early 1990s. Her participation in Documenta IX (1992) brought her work to international attention. She has been the subject of solo shows at MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018), MoMA, New York (2015), and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2007–08), among other institutions. Leonard was a finalist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 and was awarded The Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Prize in 2014. In 2020 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow. The artist taught in the MFA program at Bard College where she served as Co-Chair of Photography from 2011-2015.

Zoe Leonard’s works are held in many public institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Pinault Collection, Venice; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Zoe Leonard (*1961 in Liberty, New York) lives and works in New York City and Marfa, Texas.

Installation view, Zoe Leonard, A View from the Levee, Capitain Petzel, Berlin, 2022. © Zoe Leonard. Courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne. Ph: Gunter Lepkowski


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