Wangechi Mutu Eve, 2011 Print made with archival pigments on fine art rag paper McEvoy Family Collection Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles Carolyn Drake, Untitled from the series Knit Club, 2019, pigment print. © Carolyn Drake / Courtesy of the artist

Wangechi Mutu, Eve, 2011, print made with archival pigments on fine art rag paper. McEvoy Family Collection. Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles; Carolyn Drake, Untitled from the series Knit Club, 2019, pigment print. © Carolyn Drake / Courtesy of the artist

Wangechi Mutu, Eve, 2011, print made with archival pigments on fine art rag paper. McEvoy Family Collection. Courtesy of the Artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles

Exhibition

Image Gardeners

Experimental portraiture from the McEvoy Family Collection and new artistic commissions cultivate alternative images of selfhood and womanhood.

Maximizing the camera’s possibilities, an image gardener maintains a prolonged involvement with its subject or medium in order to realize a photograph. In opposition to Susan Sontag’s theory that photography is a voracious way of seeing, image gardeners employ photographic seeing as a means of cultivation, preservation, and collaboration.  

Inspired by the McEvoy Family Collection’s extensive holdings of portraiture and women’s representation, Image Gardeners assembles singular examples of modern and contemporary photography, spanning eight decades, to probe a wide spectrum of gender-expansive aesthetics. Early portraits by Diane Arbus and Vivian Maier demonstrate the modern woman’s access to the mechanics of the camera and the tools of self-representation. Barrier-breaking practices of collage, reconstruction, and appropriation are employed by artists Lorna Simpson and Stephanie Syjuco to conceal and conserve the often-objectified body. Newly commissioned presentations by Bay Area-affiliated artists Marcel Pardo Ariza, Carolyn Drake, and Chanell Stone respectively reflect on the transition of becoming with trans kin; reframe symbols of domesticity within a matriarchal southern American community; and resist the erasure of Black histories and bodies. Together, the images on view nurture new visions of selfhood and womanhood and challenge our collective understanding of how identities are assigned, communicated, and understood.

Image Gardeners is organized by McEvoy Arts exhibitions and public programs curator Sara Wessen Chang. seen only, heard only through someone else’s description, a related program of short films by and about women and non-binary artists is on view in the Screening Room, guest curated by Gina Basso.

SELECTIONS FROM THE MCEVOY FAMILY COLLECTION

Diane Arbus
Mary Ellen Bartley
Erica Baum
Carina Brandes
Moyra Davey
Nan Goldin
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Alma Lavenson
Zoe Leonard
Vivian Maier

Susan Meiselas
Zanele Muholi
Wangechi Mutu
Melanie Schiff
Cindy Sherman
Lorna Simpson
Ming Smith
Annegret Soltau
Stephanie Syjuco
Francesca Woodman

Image Gardeners is organized by McEvoy Arts exhibitions and public programs curator Sara Wessen Chang.