Sam Taylor-Wood

Sorrow, Suspension, Ascension


September 18 - October 30, 2004
523 W 24 Street
Opening Saturday, September 18, 2004


Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Sam Taylor-Wood: Sorrow, Suspension, Ascension, the next exhibition at his gallery at 523 West 24th Street.

This is Taylor-Wood's third one-person exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery. For this exhibition, the artist will debut two groups of photographs and one film, all executed over the past two years, which address questions of vulnerability, punishment, and control, both physical and emotional.

For Crying Men, 28 images of men in tears, the artist photographed famous actors, including Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Willem Dafoe, Sean Penn, and Benicio del Toro. Departing from traditional portraiture of celebrities, she took pictures of them in intimate settings, often their own homes. The works are presented in various sizes, in both black & white and color. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book reproducing all the images, published by Steidl Press and including an essay by the preeminent art historian Linda Nochlin, who writes:

As a series, "Crying Men" is brilliant, multilayered, and provocative… It arouses potent desires, both aesthetic and personal, in the viewer. At the same time that these images arouse desire, however, they leave it unsatisfied… You are always kept at a distance, frustrated in your need for intimacy.

Also included in the exhibition will be eight new self-portraits, the Suspension series, in which Taylor-Wood appears mysteriously suspended in mid-air. The artist was strung up by a bondage expert, Master Rope Knot, who held her in place several feet above the floor using dozens of ropes and in a variety of positions. She photographed herself and then digitally removed the ropes from the picture, producing images of alarmingly impossible poses in her pristine industrial studio space.

Ascension, the artist's new film, features two men and a bird. One of the men appears to be sleeping whilst the other frenziedly tap-dances upon his chest and stomach. Seated on the dancer's head is a white dove, bobbing up and down with the dancer's movements. Neither man is aware of the other, the sleeping figure oblivious to the constant tapping of the dancing figure above him.

Born in London in 1967, Sam Taylor-Wood first exhibited her work in 1991. Since 2002, she has had one-person exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Hayward Gallery, London; and the Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal. This fall, a retrospective of the artist's work will be held at the Russian State Museum, St. Petersburg.

Sam Taylor-Wood: Sorrow, Suspension, Ascension will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues), through October 30th, 2004. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

For further information or reproductions please contact Sabrina Buell at 212-243-0200.

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