Jeff Wolin: Ancient Provence, Layers of History in Southern France
and Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust
April 17 - May 31, 2003
Artists's Reception Thursday, April 17, 2003 6 - 8 pm
The June Bateman Fine Art is pleased to announce a two part exhibition of the work of Jeffrey
The main exhibition space of the gallery will be devoted to showing thirty one gold and selenium
toned prints from Mr. Wolin's most recent photographic series, Ancient Provence: Layers of
History in Southern France. The "Layers of history" in the show's title describes the play
between the ancient and the modern in the region of Southern France known as Provence whereby
Mr. Wolin, rather than attempting to romanticize the environment by suppressing indications of
the modern world, includes sharp, yet somehow not entirely incongruous juxtapositions between
ancient structures and aspects of Southern France's modern commercial, industrial, and touristic life.
In Aqueduct with Hair Salon, South of Lyon, for instance, we see the colossal arch of an ancient
Roman aqueduct abutting a rather nondescript beauty parlor while straddling a modern day
intersection complete with painted crosswalk and a modern traffic light. Hotel l'Arena. Frejus
shows us an ancient pillar standing, seemingly surrounded by the jostle of bright tables and umbrellas
of an outdoor cafe. Humorous juxtapositions and ironic commentary notwithstanding, in Ancient
Provence: Layers of History in Southern France, Jeffrey Wolin presents an extraordinary
portrait of a very old and beautiful land in photographic portraits of exceptional compositional
clarity and tones that recall the prints of nineteenth century photographic masters Frederick Evans,
Edouard Baldus and Eugene Atget.
A catalog has been prepared and published in conjunction with the exhibit. Ancient Provence:
Layers of History in Southern France (2003), features an introduction by art historian George
Dimock, and is available through the June Bateman Fine Art. Ancient Provence: Layers of
History in Southern France has three exhibition venues. It is currently on view at the Galerie de
l'Abbaye de Montmajour in Arles, France. Following its run at the June Bateman Fine Art in
New York, a selection of photographs from the series will be exhibited in fall of 2003 at the
Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.
Ten images from Wolin's extraordinary series Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust
will be on view in gallery room three, marking the first time this work has been shown in a
commercial gallery in New York. Published in book form by Chronicle Books in 1997, the series
began in the early 1990s, when Wolin made a series of clear, straightforward environmental
portraits of Jewish Holocaust survivors and placed them in relation to a superimposed text taken
from videotaped interviews conducted with his subjects. Although the photographs bear the weight
of one of the most significant and tragic of modern historical events, both the photographs and the
texts attend closely to the personal dimension of this history. It is the precisely the ordinariness of
these people who have lived through extraordinary brutality that makes these photographic works so
compelling. This layering is especially revealed in several portraits in which the subjects hold
prewar snapshots, suggesting both the continuity and great distance that must exist between their
current and youthful selves and worlds.
"Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust" was presented as a traveling exhibition at The Art
Institute of Chicago, The International Center for Photography, New York, The Chrysler
Museum of Art (Norfolk, Virginia), The Indianapolis Museum of Art, and The Haus Bill
(Zurich, Switzerland). A selection of the works from this exhibit was also presented in Paris,
Wintherthur, Switzerland, Reggio Emilia, Italy, and Barcelona.
Jeffrey Wolin is the Ruth A. Halls Professor of Photography at the Indiana University
School of Fine Arts. He has received two Visual Artist Fellowships from the National
Endowment of the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and held a five-month U.S./France
Fellowship at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.
Mr. Wolin's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum,
the George Eastman House, the Center for Creative Photography, the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art, and many other museums and galleries. His work is in the permanent collections
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San
Francisco Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), the
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Public Library,
the George Eastman House, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Bibliotheque
Nationale, Paris France, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mr. Wolin's work has been published in 12 monographs and books, including Ancient Provence
(2003) and Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust (1997). His work has also been published
in The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and other periodicals.