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Monday, November 09, 2009

Economy of Scale Opening Reception

November 7–December 23, 2009
Opening Reception: Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 6:30pm–8:30pm


Is bigger better? Is smaller intimate and, therefore, precious? Does a particular size better serve the content of a photograph?
During the exponential growth of the fine art photography market in the 1980s, there were conversations among a few photography dealers concerning strategies to bring photography into parity with painting. The goal was for photography to command the full regard of art collectors. In the most blatant sense, this was a real estate issue: “Should not a photograph claim significant wall space in the manner of a painting?” Photography needed to achieve an architectural presence. Technical advances in the printing of large-scale photographic prints soon began to fulfill the ambition of attaining a comparable size in relation to painting. Today’s photographers can create near mural-size works with the ever-advancing technology of digital printing. As photography enlarged in size from the mid-1980s to the present, it migrated from showing in a handful of galleries that specialized in photography to hanging in most contemporary art galleries. Now that photography successfully competes for wall space with painting, we ask, “How has this achievement of scale benefited the medium and its attendant messages?”
Photographs by Margaret Bourke-White, David Burnett, David Byrne & Danielle Spencer, Colby Caldwell, William Christenberry, Frank Day, Carl De Keyzer, Eduardo Del Valle & Mirta Gómez, Robert Frank, William Greiner, Erich Hartmann, Max Hirshfeld, Graciela Iturbide, Franz Jantzen, Ralph Morse, Lothar Osterburg, Shelly Rusten, Sebastião Salgado, Susannah Sayler/The Canary Project, William C. Shrout, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, and Darryl Vance.

Economy of Scale coincides with FotoWeekDC, a citywide celebration of photography. http://www.fotoweekdc.org

Hemphill
1515 14th St NW
Washington, DC

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