DescriptionJAMES CASEBERE (American, b. 1953)
Study for Tunnels, 1995
Polaroid in black and white
3-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches (8.9 x 10.8 cm)
Signed and dated verso
Private collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist in 1995
The ghostly buildings in James Casebere's large photographs are like figures out of dreams or memories, specific but nebulous. Mr. Casebere makes the structures in his pictures himself, using cardboard, paper and other materials; he usually photographs the detail-less white buildings from low angles, as if they were architectural models or doll houses....In earlier works, Mr. Casebere used similar techniques to depict a diverse range of structures, including ranches, suburban row houses and buildings in the ghetto of Venice. What unites these smart, provocative pictures is Mr. Casebere's apparent sense of architecture as the embodiment of cultural ideals and practical necessities and of photography as the intersection of history and fiction. Charles Hagen, The New York Times, May 14, 1993.
James Casebere makes sculptures and photographs that are strictly related. Many of his sculptures - small white tableaux that suggest abandoned stage sets - are constructed only to be photographed and never exhibited. Similarly, when Mr. Casebere builds a large tableau for public viewing, it is as if we have stepped into one of his photographs. Mr. Casebere emerged in the early 1980's along with such photographers as Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons and James Welling. Like them, he makes or sets up his images before he actually photographs them, constructing a fiction for the camera that eliminates the instrument's reportorial function, and downplaying our expectations of a ''true picture'' in order to get at the truths behind the surface. Mr. Casebere's art has a complexity and a literary aspect that, compared with many of his colleagues, can strike one as old-fashioned. He takes on big themes, the sweetness and banality of life and the omnipresence of change, death and memory. Most of his tableaux present deserted corners of the world where life has moved on, either quietly or violently. Roberta Smith, The New York Times, June 5, 1987
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000.
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