Gregory Crewdson: Untitled, From the series: Early Work, 1986-1988 / The ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna – Permanent loan, Private Collection © Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson: Retrospective
May 29 – Sep 8, 2024
Wien, Austria

Gregory Crewdson (*1962, Brooklyn) is one of the world’s most renowned photographers. Since the mid-1980s, Crewdson has been using the backdrop of small American towns and film sets to create, like a director, technically brilliant and colourfully seductive photographs that focus on human isolation and the abysses of society. The enigmatic scenes self-reflexively raise questions about the boundary between fact and fiction but can also be related to socio-political developments.

The retrospective at the ALBERTINA comprises a total of nine groups of works, created over the last three and a half decades and conceived serially. Starting with his Early Work (1986–1988), the exhibition includes Crewdson’s best-known series such as Twilight (1998–2002), which depicts scenes shaped by cinematic language, with people being confronted by unexplainable phenomena in their everyday lives. The impressive, mysterious large-scale scenes from the Beneath the Roses series (2003‒2008) deal with people’s isolation and alienation from their environment. The most recently completed group of works Eveningside (2021–2022) portrays an unheroic image of a fictional small town of the same name in atmospheric black and white. Following Cathedral of the Pines (2013–2014) and An Eclipse of Moths (2018–2019), Eveningside represents the final part of a trilogy through which the artist examines the social decline of society far removed from the American dream.

Crewdson’s large-scale pictures are preceded by months of planning; they are created with the participation of hundreds of people from casting, wardrobe and art departments, plus technical specialists. Production photographs taken in parallel illustrate the highly elaborate process of design, culminating in an extensive post-production process in which the final photographs are assembled from multiple shots.

As a generous gesture, the exhibition is accompanied by a significant donation to the ALBERTINA’s photo collection. This extensive assimilation of works strengthens the focus of the collection on contemporary photography.

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