Gregory Crewdson works within a photographic tradition that combines the documentary style of William Eggleston and Walker Evans with the dream-like vision of filmmakers such as Stephen Spielberg and David Lynch. Crewdson’s method is equally filmic, building elaborate sets to take pictures of extraordinary detail and narrative portent.
When he was ten, Crewdson’s father, a psychoanalyst, took him to see a Diane Arbus exhibition at MoMA, an early aesthetic experience that informed his decision to become a photographer. Work includes the Natural Wonder series, dioramas created by the artist with insects, animals and body parts in small-town settings both mundane and menacing. Recent series include Twilight and Beneath the Roses, everyday scenes with charged, surreal moods that hint at the longings and malaise of suburban America. These pictures are like incomplete sentences, with little reference to prior events or what may follow. The artist has referred the 'limitations of a photograph in terms of narrative capacity to have an image that is frozen in time, (where) there's no before or after' and has turned that restriction into a unique strength.
'Sanctuary', his most recent series, was shot amid the grounds of the legendary Cinecittà studios, outside Rome. Abandoned by the actors and crews that brought the sets to life, Crewdson decided to make the film sets themselves the subject of the photographs. Despite this change of direction, the artist's vision persists: 'As with much of my work', suggests Crewdson, 'I looked at the blurred lines between reality and fiction, nature and artifice, and beauty and decay.'
Gregory Crewdson was born in 1962 in New York, where he continues to live and work. Solo exhibitions include 'In a Lonely Place' touring to Royal Library, Copenhagen (2011), C/O, Berlin (2011) and Kulturhuset, Stockholm (2011), 'Beneath the Roses', Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati (2008) and Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2008), Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2007), Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2006), Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2005) and SITE Santa Fe, USA (2001). Group exhibitions include MUAC, Mexico (2008), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007), V&A Museum, London (2006), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2005), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2004) and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000).