Organized by ICP Curator Carol Squiers, What Is a Photograph? explores the range of creative experimentation that has occurred in photography since the 1970s. This major exhibition brings together 21 emerging and established artists who have reconsidered and reinvented the role of light, color, composition, materiality, and the subject in the art of photography. In the process, they have also confronted an unexpected revolution in the medium with the rise of digital technology, which has resulted in imaginative reexaminations of the art of analog photography, the new world of digital images, and the hybrid creations of both systems as they come together.

“Artists around the globe have been experimenting with and redrawing the boundaries of traditional photography for decades,” said ICP Curator Carol Squiers, who organized the exhibit. “Although digital photography seems to have made analog obsolete, artists continue to make works that are photographic objects, using both old technologies and new, crisscrossing boundaries and blending techniques.”

What Is a Photograph? brings together these artists, who reinvented photography.

Featured Artists

Matthew Brandt, Marco Breuer, Liz Deschenes, Adam Fuss, Owen Kydd, Floris Neusüss, Marlo Pascual, Sigmar Polke, Eileen Quinlan, Jon Rafman, Gerhard Richter, Mariah Robertson, Alison Rossiter, Lucas Samaras, Travess Smalley, David Benjamin Sherry, Kate Steciw, Artie Vierkant, James Welling, Christopher Williams, and Letha Wilson

Warped and distorted film negatives. Mariah Robertson
Side by side pictures of a painting Liz Deschenes
A painting with a light fixture attached to it Marlo Pascual
An image of abstract purple art Letha Wilson
A black leather sheet wrinkled, shining with blue and orange lights. Eileen Quinlan
Image of an antique sculpture Jon Rafman
A black and white mountain landscape overlapped with red. Matthew Brandt
An abstract shade of black and another shade of grey overlapping, the background is a faded yellow. Alison Rossiter
Image of a waterfall David Benjamin Sherry
Colorful abstract art Travess Smalley
Image of artistic glass Owen Kydd
Two framed avante garde paintings mirroring one another, featuring stripes of yellow and white overlayed with a black and dark red blob. Kate Steciw
An abstract painting in black and white Floris Neusüss
Christopher Williams

Special Thanks

What Is a Photograph? is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Deborah Jerome and Peter Guggenheimer, the Consulate General of Germany New York, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.