This online exhibition explores the importance of our sense of place. It includes images from a project completed by the artist before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic alongside a suite of recent photographs made during the lockdown. The exhibition showcases Leibovitz’s singular ability to combine portraiture and photojournalism with profound humanism and sly wit.
‘They feel like the mortar—sort of segues—between all of my pictures.’
The earlier photographs in the exhibition are from a project Leibovitz made for herself in order to explore places that were inhabited by people from the past who mean something to her. ‘There are no people in the pictures,’ she says. ‘I photographed houses and landscapes and objects that belonged to people who are no longer there.’ On a visit to Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu, New Mexico, home, she found a rattlesnake skeleton displayed under glass on a coffee table.
The inner lives of artists are reflected in the delicate pressed flowers of Emily Dickinson’s childhood herbarium and the worn surface of Virginia Woolf’s writing desk. At Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch house, she photographed the small red hill that so often appeared as a monumental symbol of the American Southwest in O’Keeffe’s paintings. During a trip to England, she was shown bird specimens preserved by Charles Darwin, the intellectual basis of his life’s work. These journeys were exercises in personal and artistic renewal for Leibovitz.
The photographs from which the ‘Upstate’ grid are drawn document the landscape of the artist’s home in upstate New York, where she has been living during the quarantine period. She began taking the pictures after looking back at the earlier work.
Archival Pigment Print
Edition of 100, 15 AP
17 1/2 x 22 in
This edition was produced under the umbrella of Hauser & Wirth’s new global philanthropic and charitable initiative #artforbetter. 100% of the proceeds of sales of ‘Upstate,’ will be split equally between Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative, and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.
As part of Hauser & Wirth’s #artforbetter initiative and in support of the urgent fight to dismantle systemic racism and police brutality in America, 100% of the proceeds of sales of ‘Upstate,’ a work comprising a grid of photographs Leibovitz has taken while in quarantine, will be split equally between Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative, and COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.