Picture Room is pleased to present Books, Skirts, Figurines, an exhibition by Leanne Shapton, opening March 10th, 2023.
Books, Skirts, Figurines
Our one fight went well. It was over a book. She liked the book, I didn’t like the book, and there was a long pause over the spaghetti vongole while we both puzzled over what that meant. The pause lasted for a couple days. It lasted a week.
Then she texted, “Hey, we ok?” I was looking at listings for two-bedrooms on the east side. I started to type a reply, deleted it, then suggested we meet for a coffee. On the walk to meet her I thought about why I didn’t like the book. It was because it made me feel left out.
Items for sale are photographed for secondhand marketplace listings. This mostly amateur, classified photography is a language in itself, a vernacular and virtual gallery of poses, lighting, details and abstractions that have collective and specific meaning. The photographs that pedestal the objects for sale, while pragmatic, meet along vectors of seduction and vectors of value. Painting from these photos is an attempt to study their particular language, conventions, and transmission of desire.
Leanne Shapton, b. 1973, is a Canadian author, artist, and publisher based in New York City. Shapton’s Swimming Studies won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and was long listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2012. She is the co-founder, with photographer Jason Fulford, of J&L Books, an internationally-distributed not-for-profit imprint specializing in art and photography books. Her works have appeared in various publications such as The New York Times, Granta, and The New Yorker, and she teaches in the creative writing department at Columbia University School of the Arts. shapton is the art editor at The New York Review of Books and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Her latest book is Guestbook, a collection of short stories.
Photo credit: Janna Tew
Feb 25th 2023