Nicholas Nixon: Patients

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Nicholas Nixon: Patients, an exhibition of recent work on view from April 5th through May 26th, 2007.

Begun in 2005, Patients presents a look at the lives of the people Nicholas Nixon met in the palliative care units of four different hospitals in Boston. These black and white portraits made with a large-format camera portray the artist’s confrontation with the subjects of life and death. Through his lens, we witness the challenges and struggle of the patients and their families, who are oftentimes photographed in the final stages of their lives. Nixon photographs his subjects close-up, sometimes filling the entire frame with their image. In other photographs, a face is framed in the corner, leaving an expanse of space before it. The rich tonality and complex considerations of form offer a sensitivity to the human condition that is a defining element of Nicholas Nixon’s work over three decades.

John Royston, Easton, Mass., 2006
gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 inches (sheet) [25.4 x 20.3 cm]
John Royston, Easton, Massachusetts, 2006
gelatin silver contact print, 10 x 8 inches (sheet) [25.4 x 20.3 cm]

Patients is the continuation of Nixon’s long-term work in portraiture.  Nixon began his investigation of portraits with his “porch pictures” in the early 1980s. He pursued this study in other varying forms including his series “The Brown Sisters” in which he has made a portrait of his wife and her three sisters every year since 1976. As in each of Nicholas Nixon’s many portraits, time and the human life cycle remain prominent themes in the series Patients.

Nicholas Nixon’s work is represented in many permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. His photography is currently the subject of an exhibition on view at the St. Louis Museum of Art through May 17th, 2007 entitled Nicholas Nixon: 30 Years of Photography.

Nicholas Nixon: Patients can be seen concurrently with Robert Adams: Trees 1965-2005.

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