Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of two new bodies of work by Adam Fuss. Over the past thirty years, Fuss has refined a highly personal approach to photography, rarely using a camera while relying on the most elemental properties of the medium: light, an object, and light-sensitive material.
The largest works in the exhibition, measuring 8 x 4 feet, appear to be abstract tangles of colorful pigments, but which derive instead from animal intestines placed directly upon photo-sensitive paper and exposed to light. The lush hues are the result of light passing through the intestines as well as the chemical reaction of the organs in physical contact with the paper. Some of the images assume the form of columns, others dense “allover” skeins of lines. All are clearly concerned with mysteries of the organic.
In a separate gallery a series of ethereal daguerreotypes will be on view, in all likelihood the largest daguerreotypes ever made. The images center on an unmade mattress in an ambiguous space, the bed either empty or topped with snakes. In two of the images lies a prone, naked woman.
Fuss’s imagery, which in the past has depicted babies, water droplets, christening dresses, moving light, sunflowers, rabbit entrails, and human skulls, has long been recognized as rich in a universal symbolism. Fuss was born in England in 1961, and has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others. His work has been the subject of numerous monographs. The Mapfre Foundation, based in Madrid, mounted a comprehensive traveling survey of Fuss’s work in 2011.