Jackson Fine Art is excited to present a solo exhibition of Julie Blackmon’s distinctive domestic
compositions, alongside newly uncovered works by 20th-century master Elliott Erwitt. Both artists have
made their impact on the medium through finding narrative beauty in their everyday surroundings,
wordlessly expressing both the comical and the poignant.
Contemporary American photographer Julie Blackmon draws inspiration from the raucous tavern scenes
of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painters, creating photographs based around the people and places in
her small community. Blackmon has compared her surroundings to a giant Hollywood prop closet, where
a Starbucks employee out on a smoke break may appear in her next photograph, or the beauty shop she
passes every day becomes the setting for a new piece. “It’s a fun perspective to have … to see the world
around you as a potential story or idea. It changes how you see things. Nora Ephron said, ‘everything is
copy,’ and that has really stayed with me. I live and work in a generic town, with a generic name, in the
middle of America, in the middle of nowhere… but the stories unfolding around me are endless.”
Forthcoming from Radius Books, August 2022
Julie Blackmon: Midwest Materials
Photography by Julie Blackmon
Text by Leah Ollman
Hardcover / 11 1/2 x 13 1/5 inches
45 color imaes / 108 pages
"Since Blackmon practices photography as theater, she traffics in the seductive illusions and entrancing deceptions of both mediums. Hers is an elaborate and sophisticated act of make-believe. An act of serious mischief. Also, perhaps, an act of frustrated faith, an act of longing." — Leah Ollman
"The artist Blackmon most commonly cites as a chief influence, however, is Jan Steen, the 17th-century Dutch painter whose witty and spirited moralistic tableaux, set in taverns and kitchens, often depict people misbehaving. His panels were noted for their rigorous organization and high finish, qualities that apply equally well to Blackmon's own crisp choreography, the ordered disorder she contrives in the service of satire and social commentary. Front lawns might be cluttered in her photographs, but the domestic mess is a stand-in for muck on a larger, societal scale."
Jan Steen, The Satyr and the Peasant Family, 1660-62
Jan Steen, The Dissolute Household, 1663-64
Jan Steen, The Bowling Game, 1655
AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE
Julie BlackmonMetaverse, 2022
Blackmon’s work serves as a mash-up of pop phenomena, consumer culture, and social satire. Taking its
name from the 2022 photograph “Metaverse,” which depicts a hectic household scene unfolding around
a toddler clad in a virtual reality headset, Jackson Fine Art’s exhibition follows Blackmon’s trajectory of
incorporating the cultural signifiers of the present moment into touching domestic tableaus.
Elliott Erwitt is one of the leading figures in magazine, advertising, and commercial photography. A
member of photography’s elite Magnum group since 1953, he also began making film documentaries in
the 1970s. But he is best known for the warmth, humor, and wry observations in his personal work,
which he has continued to produce in tandem with his commercial practice, and which are collected in
best-selling volumes such as Personal Exposures (1988) and Snaps (2001).
Born in Paris to Russian émigré parents, Erwitt and his family spent several years in Milan before
returning to Paris, in 1938, when he was ten years old. The following year they moved to New York,
before settling finally in Los Angeles in 1941.
Elliott Erwitt lives and works in New York. The author of twenty books, he has had solo exhibitions at the
Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Musée d’art moderne de la
Ville de Paris; the Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the Museum of Art of New South Wales, Sydney. His work is
held in major public and private collections across the world.
Below is a selection of works from the new Elliott Erwitt monograph Found Not Lost
(Gost, 2021). Drawing from seven decades of previously unprinted and unexhibited work, the ninety-four
year-old photographer views once dismissed negatives — one uncovered box contained a scrawled
warning in the artist’s hand “don’t bother – pix useless” — with fresh eyes, resulting in a collection of 171
new classics. Known for his sardonic humor and winking playfulness, at times this exhibition reveals a
more contemplative, quiet Erwitt.
Over 170 previously unseen images by photographer Elliott Erwitt will be published for the first time in Found, Not Lost. Spanning more than sixty years, the photographs in the book, often taken during lulls or breaks between assignments in his prolific career, have been selected, edited and sequenced by Erwitt himself.
‘In my nineties, my work looks different than I’ve ever seen it before… There’s a time for photographs that say hello, and there’s a time to listen.’ – Elliott Erwitt
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Elliott ErwittCalifornia, USA (from Found, Not Lost, pg. 182-183), 1956
Elliott ErwittReno, Nevada (from Found, Not Lost, pg. 74), 1958