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"Tom Hunter: Contemporary Narratives"
2006-12-23 until 2007-07-08
Mint Museum of Art
USA United States of America
Tom Hunter creates contemplative photographs which often depict the travelers and squatters inhabiting his community of Hackney, a Borough of London. Utilizing the sprawling post-industrial relics of Hackney—its untamed landscape, abandoned dwellings and warehouses—Hunter creates striking images that reference paintings of the past, including those by 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer and 19th century Pre-Raphaelites, such as John Everett Millais among others.
VantagePoint VI Tom Hunter: Contemporary Narratives, will present the first international artist to be featured in the Mint Museum of Art’s ongoing series of contemporary art. Ten large-format photographs from 1997 to 2005 will be shown in the exhibition. Curator of Contemporary Art, Carla Hanzal has selected photographs from three of Hunter’s photographic series: Persons Unknown, Life and Death in Hackney and the most recent Headlines project.
A narrative quality is apparent in each of the three series presented in this VantagePoint exhibition. Hunter’s Persons Unknown series depicts individuals in interiors, but through dramatic settings draws the viewer into the lives of the people portrayed. His arresting Woman Reading a Possession Order shows a young mother reading the document that will evict her from her home. This photograph won the prestigious Kobal Photographic Portrait award in 1997. The Way Home, from Hunter’s Life and Death in Hackney series, is a portrait that references Millais’ painting Ophelia (1851-52). Hunter’s most recent series, Headlines, is inspired by lurid headlines found in the London Gazette. Like the Victorian author Thomas Hardy, Hunter brings to life narratives pulled from contemporary society.
Though refracted through historical antecedents, Hunter’s photographs directly engage with the modern (or postmodern) world. His photographs walk the fine line of documentary anthropology and sensuous beauty.
Tom Hunter will speak about his photographs at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2007, in the Van Every Auditorium at the Mint Museum of Art. This lecture is open to the public and free with museum admission.
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