Gregory Crewdson - Untitled (Secret Liaison, from the series: Beneath the Roses)
Untitled (Secret Liaison, from the series: Beneath the Roses)
Digital pigment print on dibond. 149 x 227.5 cm (frame size). Signed in ink and typewritten notes on the work on a label affixed to the reverse of the mount. Print 5 from an edition of 6. - Framed under glass.
“Gregory Crewdson's photographs show the ostensibly idyllic world of America's countryside and its provincial towns as an abysmal cinematographic dream full of dark and mysterious moments. Based on Freud's essay on the uncanny, the photographer, born in New York in 1962, designs complex and detailed embellished pictorial worlds using the iconography of the landscape and of suburban America as metaphors for his neuroses, fears and longings. […] In the care and the meticulous realism that he implements in the design of his small-town scenes and interiors, there are noticeable elements of Crewdson's emphasis on the effect of the realistic documentary attitude with which Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand and William Eggleston, among others, have measured everyday life and the dark side of American life.
Above all, however, Crewdson's theatrical lighting direction, the inclusion of the fantastic and fabulous, as well as his open commitment to large scale narration in the context of staged photography, which under the influence of its central representatives Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall has long established itself as one of the most important forms of expression in artistic photography. In contrast to Wall, who mainly analyses situations of social conflict within American society in his in his auratic and yet always coldly radiant, illuminated pictures and thereby often resorting to art-historical role models, Crewdson refers primarily to the popular myths of cinema in order to visually capture the dark emotional abysses and secret longings of his protagonists. […]
American Hollywood cinema with its stock of images proves to be a particularly fruitful point of reference for Crewdson because the emotional disposition of the American nation, their desires and their fears have never been reflected as precisely by any other medium. […] Especially in the series Twilight (1998 - 2002), Dream House (2002) and Beneath the Roses (2003 - 2005), the photographer condenses cinematic narrative logic to the point where a single photograph potentially represents the narrative spectrum of an entire feature film. The surrogate of various narrative elements working in these "single frame movies" combines into a whole that orchestrates the myth machine of cinema both seductively and elaborately, while at the same time demonstrating the artificial and construed aspects of each image context yet not ignoring its magical potential". (cited Stephan Berg et al. 2005, loc. cit., p. 6).
Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (label verso on frame); private collection, Northern Germany
Stephan Berg et al. (ed.), Gregory Crewdson 1985 – 2005, exhib.cat. Kunstverein Hanover i.a., Ostfildern 2005; Nancy Spector et al. (ed.), Gregory Crewdson, New York 2013, plate 19