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30.11.2010

 

Mitch Epstein shows us America. 'State of the Union' - photographs on display at Kunstmuseum Bonn and published in a book by Hatje Cantz

Mitch Epstein is considered one of the most exceptional American photographers and is currently showing two of his series in the 'State of the Union' exhibition at Bonn Kunstmuseum: they are ‘Recreation – American Photographs’ and ‘American Power’. Germany failed to reward the artist with the attention he deserves - we want to change this. So, we offer our own interpretation of his truly impressive pictures.

The photographs for 'Recreation' were created from 1973 onwards, in the style of street photography and documented the everyday life and coincidences of life in the USA between 1970 and 1980. Epstein's eye captured both the bizarre and the ordinary.

He photographed dancing teenagers in New Orleans in 1974, blossoming into freedom like plants with their green and pink outfits. In 1977, Epstein photographed on the West Side Highway in NYC. Big blocks of houses, a street, a parked car – and a closer inspection reveals a man lying on the edge of the street. Asleep? Dead?

Since 2003, the 'American Power' series has been concerned with the concentrated power aspects of the United States, the energy industry, which intervenes with both society and nature. Behind squeaking green lawns and idyllic cottages, the towering heights of grey factory chimney reach out into the sky. A newly built, smooth street bridge looks like a long, stretched-out piece of chewing gum between scattered rocks in Nevada.

With the two series, the photographer succeeds in capturing the respective issues and the intensity of their past colours, while adding his own, captivating voice.

Mitch Epstein was born in 1952 in Massachusetts, USA and lives with his family in New York. His works can be found in various museums, including the NY Metropolitan Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The Epstein exhibition sees the Bonner Kunstmuseum launch a new series that presents the world of American photography since the 1970s. So, still to come: Lewis Baltz, Joel Sternfeld and Larry Sultan.

The exhibition runs until the 23rd of January 2011. An accompanying catalogue is published by Hatje Cantz Verlag.


Mitch Epstein – State of the Union
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Museumsmeile
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2, 53113 Bonn

Until 23rd of January 2011
Tue – Sun, 11am – 6pm
Wed, 11am – 9pm

Mitch Epstein – State of the Union
Hatje Cantz Verlag
2010, German / English
ISBN 978-3-7757-2784-6, 35 Euro

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein

STATE OF THE UNION by Mitch Epstein