THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON

Philip-Lorca diCorcia is among the most influential and innovative photographers of the past thirty years.


Bringing together 125 photographs made from the late-1970s to the present, including selections from all of his distinct series, this exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of diCorcia's work in the United States.

DiCorcia's images perch on the lines between fact and fiction, blending a documentary mode with techniques of staged photography. The viewer is often unsure whether a scene has been found or posed by diCorcia, which lends an uncanny quality to the typically mundane imagery the artist presents. Ultimately, his work asks viewers to question the assumed truth of a photograph and to consider alternative ways that images might speak to and represent reality.

In the mid-1970s, DiCorcia (born 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut) attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, followed by a Masters of Fine Art in Photography at Yale University. From the very beginning, he pursued a middle ground between two major photographic modes of the period. A modernist documentary style influenced by Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus is evident, but so too is an approach informed by conceptual art, which mobilizes images as cultural archetypes or signs.
   
In all his work, diCorcia captures moments that seem arrested in the chaotic flux of the larger world. From the psychological tension of his staged tableaux to his portraits of pedestrians on city streets to his experimental narrative sequence A Storybook Life, the ultimate effect of diCorcia's photographs is a sense of reality hanging in a threshold, uncertain, instable, and poetic.

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