Work & Process

Gregory Crewdson

June 7, 2013 – June 28, 2013

Best known for his elaborately staged large-scale photographs, Gregory Crewdson builds his images elementally, working toward the moment where a story emerges.

Best known for his elaborately staged large-scale photographs, Gregory Crewdson builds his images elementally, working toward the moment where a story emerges. The photographs from Beneath the Roses take place in the homes, streets, and forests of unnamed small towns and portray emotionally charged moments of seemingly ordinary individuals caught in ambiguous and often disquieting circumstances. Both epic in scale and intimate in scope, these visually breathtaking photographs blur the distinctions between cinema and photography, reality and fantasy, what has happened and what is to come. The end result is made possible by an extensive crew that includes a production designer, director of photography, producers, actors, and many others.

Photographs from Crewdson’s latest works, Sanctuary, are on display in the Dové Gallery. In Sanctuary, Crewdson moves beyond the construction of the surreal human drama that drove previous series, and has made the abandoned outdoor film sets of the legendary Cinecittá the subject of, rather than the mere setting for, his pictures. Moving through the empty streets of "Ancient Rome" at the beginning and end of the day, he has captured the palpable atmospheres of melancholy lurking at every twist and turn, cloaked in shadow or suddenly illuminated by a shaft of daylight. 

In Sanctuary, Crewdson's focus on scenographic architecture as the principal subject underscores the illusory techniques that he has previously used to construct his scenes and actions. The photographs contain certain characteristics of a documentary film by which is exposed the hidden life of movies and their artifacts that remain once production has ceased. The intimate scale of the black-and-white photographs serves to further intensify the poignancy of each deserted scene.

Born in Brooklyn in 1962, Gregory Crewdson grew up intrigued by the work of his father, a psychoanalyst who saw his patients in the family basement. At sixteen, he formed a rock band called the Speedies. Their first single: Let Me Take Your Foto. Crewdson has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York City. His work has been included in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and elsewhere. He received the Skowhegan Medal for Photography, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship, and the Aaron Siskind Fellowship. Currently he is professor of photography at the Yale University School of Art, where he earned his MFA in 1998. His published books include Hover, Dream of Life, Twilight, and Beneath the Roses. He is the subject of the documentary film, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters.

Click here to view a PDF of the exhibition announcement card.

Exhibition Sponsors

The Scout Guide, Andy Hord & Lotta Lofgren, Suzanne & Ed Chitwood, and LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph