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Solo Exhibition "Pentimento Series"

Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY

Jan 06 2015 - Jan 31 2015

Marlborough Gallery is pleased to announce Pentimento Series, a solo exhibition of seventeen pigment prints by Robert Weingarten. The exhibition will open at Marlborough Gallery on January 6 and will continue through January 31, 2014. This is the artist’s fourth exhibition with Marlborough Gallery, and the first exhibition at the gallery’s main 57th Street space. A pentimento describes changes and alterations in an artwork, marked by traces of previous work made by the artist that are often only visible using advanced imaging technologies. In Pentimento Series, Weingarten layers historic imagery of iconic sites alongside contemporary images. Through the appropriation of archival images, Weingarten shines light on the historical events that once took place in these recognizable locations that are now often dramatically altered, or on occasion, amazingly similar. Continuing with the technique of digital composite images first developed in his 2011 series Portraits Without People, Robert Weingarten’s Pentimento Series explores the ever-changing meaning of place, as latent images of the past subtly emerge in the present.

In Paris (1940), rows of cars are seen driving toward l’Arc de Triomphe in the present day, as German troops simultaneously march along the Champs Élysées to seize control of Paris. Weingarten layers the iconic wartime photograph with a Disneyland advertisement featuring a gleeful child. From the boy’s vantage point, it appears he is watching the troops descend down the streets. With sharp juxtapositions, Weingarten creates a portrait of a place, showing not just its current state but its growth and history. The noted scholar and curator, Colin Westerbeck, explains the effect as Weingarten working “his way through the history of photography in order to arrive at his unique vision of photography as history.”
In Guernica (1937), the modern day city is framed within a sepia vignette of post-war ruins. Through the use of translucent layers, the past looms, monochromatic and ghostly, directing the eye towards a vision of the present moment.

Another depiction of a seemingly familiar and idyllic spot is Hooverville (Central Park, NY 1931). Taken at the Great Meadow in Central Park, the site’s former life as a Hooverville reveals a harsher aspect that in the wake of Occupy Wall Street reverberates today more than ever. Historic photographs of shanty town residents create an uneasy tension with leisurely sunbathers enjoying the park.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Weingarten’s work is the result of his abilities as an autodidact combined with an intense passion for photography. Weingarten’s first exhibition with Marlborough was the 6:30 A.M. series, begun in 2003, in which Weingarten captured an identical ocean view from his home in California at the same time each day for one year. The series chronicles the changing colors of the sky, water and land to create, as publisher Hatje Cantz described, “magnificent, vividly colored images reminiscent of abstract realism paintings.” This interest in photographic abstraction became more pronounced in the Palette Series (2004-2007) and later, Portraits Without People (2011), in which Weingarten produced photocompositions of images representing the subject’s biographical detail, akin to Andy Warhol, or Arman’s Portrait Robot series, in which he created portraits by selecting the items that best express the individual.

Since the 1990s, Robert Weingarten’s work has been shown in over eighty exhibitions in the United States and abroad. The artist’s work is included in a number of permanent collections including the George Eastman House, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Fine Art, the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He holds the distinction, Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and has been the recipient of several awards in photography. Robert Weingarten’s work is the subject of numerous monographs and publications.

An illustrated catalogue will be available at the time of the exhibition.

by B B