Dionne Lee
Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020
Online / Ongoing
MoMA / Museum of Modern Art

Each week, from September 28 through November 16, MoMA / Museum of Modern Art will introduce the work of a new artist in the exhibition on Magazine.

How do photographs speak to one another? Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020 traces conversations between images. Some happen between paired or pendant pictures that rely upon one another to convey a shared message; others use the visual rhyme or echoes that reverberate across multiple prints or in montage; still others occur between distinct photographic series that, woven together, deliver new or more complex accounts of the world.

By their very nature, photographic prints are iterative: an image captured on a single negative can exist in multiple printed forms, scales, proofs, or editions. Each corresponds to others that share its source, though sometimes their differences may be more immediately apparent than their similarities. Some photographers organize individual pictures into series or present them as books, enabling the construction of a sequence from one photo to the next. While many of the artists whose work is featured in Companion Pieces are accomplished photo-book makers, here they interrogate the expected cadence of a book (and we, too, are reading their images digitally, instead of in the form of a physical book that we hold in our hands). Some add new elements, interspersing them to build layers; others present a fragmented narrative, fashioned from distinct pieces that fit together anew.