Allentown Art Museum

Allentown, PA



Photographic Tableaux: Tina Barney's Family Album


The Allentown Art Museum announces Photographic Tableaux: Tina Barney's Family Album, opening on July 11, and on view through September 19, 1999.

For two decades, Tina Barney has chronicled her life and the lives of those closest to her in large format color photographs. This exhibition, comprised of some thirty works, brings together for the first time the early compressed images with her recent more minimal works. She is the intimate observer of the rituals and customs of her circle of family and friends, played out against a backdrop of richly textured interiors and lushly landscaped exteriors. The barbecue, the conversation, the reading of the Sunday New York Times -- all become compelling subjects for Barney's penetrating eye.

Barney began photographing in the mid-1970s and first used a 35 mm camera, working the "street" tradition of Cartier-Bresson, which is not unlike the taking of a spontaneous family snapshot. When she began to use a large format 4 x 5-inch camera in the early 1980s, she was able to capture extraordinary detail and rich color. She lost none of the immediacy of the moment, and produced tableaux that are masterfully composed glimpses into the lives of those depicted in her family album. This exhibition was organized by the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.

Images from top to bottom: Sunday New York Times , 1982, chromogenic color print, Courtesy Janet Borden, Inc. N.Y.; ]ill and Polly in Bathroom, 1987, chromogenic color print, Collection of Mr. Ealan Wingate, N.Y.

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