Roe Ethridge lives and works in New York.
Mr Roe Ethridge is a leading figure in conceptual photography today. His practice is singular in it’s ability to seamlessly transition between commissions for clients such as Balenciaga, and fine art exhibitions such as his recent show at Museum of Modern Art, New York. Ethridge’s work has shown extensively in the United States and internationally. He was recently included in the New Photography show at the MoMA and recently short-‐listed for the Deutsche‐Boerse Prize for Photography. He was included in the Whitney Biennial in 2008, and will have a major retrospective at Le Consortium in Dijon curated by Anne Pontegnie in 2012.
Roe Ethridge (American, born 1969) studied photography at the Atlanta College of Art. He shoots in “editorial mode” and also borrows images already in circulation, including outtakes from his own commercial work, sometimes already published in other contexts. “Everything seems to end up in a magazine sooner or later,” Ethridge has said. Drawing upon the descriptive power of photography and the ease with which it can be accessed, duplicated, and recombined, the artist orchestrates visual fugues, juxtaposing, for example, a picture in which he has superimposed an image of a plain white plate, grabbed from Bed Bath & Beyond’s website, on a checkered Comme des Garçons scarf; a photograph of a model dressed in an Alexander McQueen shirt posing against a tripod, which he took at Pier 59 in New York. The pictures acquire their meaning from the salient way in which they have been shuffled, sequenced, and laid out in nonlinear narrative structures. Combining and recombining already recontextualized images, Ethridge at once subverts the photographs’ original roles and renews their signifying possibilities.
Roe Ethridge arranges his large‐format photographs into series whose precise meaning remains elusive. His gallery installations and book projects mix fine‐art photographs and commercial images, including outtakes from his illustrational magazine work. A polished studio portrait may be juxtaposed with a grainy still‐life drawn from a retail catalogue or a cropped shot of signage in a strip mall. At first glance the groupings may seem like selections from a stock‐photography archive, but they are infused with an element of nostalgia and the uncanny. Images that feel familiar begin to take on an eerie sense of mystery when juxtaposed in the artist’s seemingly random arrays.
As technically adept as a commercial photographer yet as thoughtful as a Conceptualist about photography’s role and meaning in the modern world, Ethridge believes the ubiquity of the photograph and the instantaneity of its transmission and reception in this age of increasing “ecstatic communication” is to be embraced rather than mourned. In his work there appears no cause and no ending, no discrimination between editorial and art, between document and construct, between technology and affect.
Comme Des Garcon
Barneys New York
New York Times Magazine
2011 Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Les Recontres d’Arles, Garage, Moscow Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
2010 Greengrassi, London, England; Les Recontres d’Arles, Arles France
2009 Sunset Studio, Gladstone Gallery, Brussels, Belgium Farewell Horse, Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2008 Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY Roe Ethridge, Sutton Lane, Paris, France
2007 Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich, Switzerland; Medium, St. Barthélemy Greengrasssi, London England
2006 Apple and Cigarettes, Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
2005 County Line Plus Town and Country, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY; County Line, Green Grassi Gallery, London
2004 Art Basel Statement, Art Basel 34, Switzerland; Roe Ethridge, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY
2003 Roe Ethridge, Greengrassi Gallery, London
2002 The Bow, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY
2000 Young Pines, Model Portraits, UPS Drivers, Ambulance Accident, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY; Robert Pearre Gallery, Tucson AZ
1999 Floral Arrangements & Neutral Territory, Galerie Oliver Schweden, Munich, Germany; Neutral Territory, Vankin Schwartz Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Neutral Territory, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York, NY
1998 Hidden Branches, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Floral Arrangements, Scalo Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
2010 Museum of Modern Art, New York
2008 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY
2007 Artist in and Out of Colonge, Henry Art Gallery, Faye G. Allen Center for the Visual Arts, Seattle, WA (with Gareth James)
2005 Momentum 4 : Roe Ethridge, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston