In celebration of his publication The Island Position, newly released by MACK books, John Lehr will speak about the book and his practice with Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
As described by the publisher, “The ‘Island Position’ is an advertising term that describes the premium position of an advertisement surrounded solely by editorial content. In The Island Position, John Lehr explores the facades of American commercial spaces that are threatened by the emergence of e-commerce. In a rush to remain relevant, storeowners emblazon their windows and walls with anything that will grab attention: tessellations of quick-fading ads, floor-to-ceiling decals of fanned money or flowing hair, haphazard product displays, and desperate, hand-scrawled invitations. They repaint, renovate, rebrand, and rearrange, gestures which point to the desires and anxieties of people who are being left behind as our thumbs lead us into the new economy. The work presents a turning point in our cultural landscape: the transition from a physical culture to a virtual one.”
The book is 112 pages and includes a short story by George Saunders. It will be available for purchase at the launch.
John Lehr received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from Yale University. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library and Museum and Museum of Modern Art, all New York; and Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ. Lehr has been reviewed widely, in publications including Artforum, Art in America, Artinfo, Artnews, The Brooklyn Rail, Collector Daily, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post. His recent publications include newflesh (Gnomic Book: New York, 2019), PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice (Aperture: New York, 2019), Photography is Magic (Aperture: New York, 2015) and The Pure Products of America Go Crazy (Center for Creative Photography: Tuscon, 2015). He is the author of El Camino Real (Roman Nvmerals: New York, 2016) and The Island Position (MACK: London, 2018).
Peter Barberie is the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He holds a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, Storrs and an M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of photography and modern art from Princeton University. Since 2008 he has organized more than twenty-five exhibitions, including Long Light: Photographs by David Lebe (2019), the first survey devoted to the American photographer; WILD: Michael Nichols (2017), a survey of Nichols’ photography of the natural world creatively installed with art on similar themes from across the Museum’s collection; Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography (2014), an in-depth retrospective of Strand’s photography and films that traveled to several European venues; and Zoe Strauss: Ten Years (2012), a mid-career survey of Strauss’s photography and her closely related efforts at public engagement. His publications include Long Light: Photographs by David Lebe (2019); Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography (2014); Zoe Strauss: Ten Years (2012); Dreaming in Black and White: Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery (2006); and Looking at Atget (2005) as well as an essay for the exhibition catalogue Charles Marville, Photographer of Paris (ed. Sarah Kennel, published by the National Gallery of Art: Washington with University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2013).
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