Diane Arbus: Christ in a lobby and Other Unknown or Almost Known Works; Selected by Robert Gober

Christ in a lobby, N.Y.C. 1964, 1964
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Christ in a lobby and Other Unknown or Almost Known Works by Diane Arbus, on view from January 7 through March, 6, 2010. The exhibition has been selected and assembled by the sculptor Robert Gober.

In 1976, Gober made an untitled still-life drawing depicting the cover of the 1972 monograph Diane Arbus, along with other household items: a pack of cigarettes, sunglasses, coins, an ashtray. That drawing–still in the artist’s collection, and to be included in the forthcoming exhibition–signaled an early appreciation of Arbus’s photographs, and Gober’s subsequent body of work evidences certain affinities with hers, including Arbus’s willingness “to look at everything that you weren’t supposed to” [Gober, in a 2005 interview].

Untitled, 1976
graphite on paper, 15 1/2 x 22 3/8″

In the summer of 2009, Gober was invited to study a heretofore little known body of Arbus’s photographs, and to select a group for exhibition. He chose approximately forty-eight works spanning the artist’s career, beginning with Girl watching a soap bubble, Central Park, N.Y.C., from 1956, to a photograph made the last year of Arbus’s life, Blonde girl with a hotdog in the park, N.Y.C., 1971. Other works in Gober’s selection focus on housewives, muscle men, characters on movie screens, couples, nudists, carnival performers, and people on the street–subjects that when seen by Arbus became entirely her own.

Two friends in the park, N.Y.C., 1965
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (each sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]

Diane Arbus is one of the most influential photographers in the history of the medium. Her work was the subject of the book and retrospective, Diane Arbus Revelations, organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003. An exhibition of Arbus’s photographs, organized by the Jeu de Paume, Paris, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011 and travel to other European institutions.

In January 2010, the work of both Arbus and Gober will be exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in Focus on Artists, highlighting artists whose work the Museum has collected in depth.

Works on View

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