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A Survey of Zoe Leonard’s Work Is Currently Open at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Posted by on March 7, 2018 | Student Photography

Many of you may know the artist Zoe Leonard from her 1992 poem, “I Want a President,” which recently went viral on Instagram. In the text, she states:

I want a president with no airconditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harassed and gaybased and deported.

This is exactly the sort of person Leonard makes work for. In a mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which features 100 of Leonard’s works made since the mid-1980s, and is open through June 10, Leonard’s humanity and empathy for the downtrodden is on full display.

The exhibition features photographs, sculptures, and installations. Photography highlights include images from The Fae Richards Photo Archive (1993 – 96), a work made in collaboration with the filmmaker Cheryl Dunye, as well as How To Take Good Pictures, a wall installation composed of 1,000 copies of the famous Kodak manual in print between 1912 and 1995.

After closing at the Whitney, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where it will be open from November 4, 2018 — March 25, 2019.

For a selection of photographs from the exhibition, see below.

Zoe Leonard, Niagara Falls no.4, 1986/1991.Gelatin silver print, 41 7/8 × 29 1/4 in. (106.36 × 74.3 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, and Hauser & Wirth, New York

Zoe Leonard, Red Wall, 2001/2003. Dye transfer print, 29 11/16 × 20 7/16 in. (75.4 × 52 cm), Collection of the artist; courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, and Hauser & Wirth, New York

Zoe Leonard, TV Wheelbarrow, 2001, Dye transfer print, 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm). Collection of the New York Public Library; Funds from the Estate of Leroy A. Moses, 2005

Zoe Leonard, The Fae Richards Photo Archive, 1993-96, (detail), 78 gelatin silver prints and 4 chromogenic prints, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Photography Committee

Zoe Leonard (b. 1961, New York; Lives in New York) Income Tax, Rapid Divorce, 1999 Dye transfer print 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm) Collection of the artist; courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, and Hauser & Wirth, New York

Zoe Leonard¬, Untitled, 1989, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Courtesy of the artist.

Zoe Leonard, New York Harbor I, 2016. Two gelatin silver prints, 21 × 17 1/8 in. (53.3 × 43.5 cm) each. Collection of the artist; courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, and Hauser & Wirth, New York

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