Gagosian is pleased to announce The Color of a Flea’s Eye: The Picture Collection by Taryn Simon, an exhibition in two parts at Gagosian 976 Madison Avenue NY and opening this fall at the New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
In her work, Simon engages organizational systems – bloodlines, criminal investigations, mourning, global diplomacy – to reveal the hidden contours of authority. From photography to sculpture, text, sound, and performance, her projects involve extensive field research both on and with archives, individuals, and institutions.
Nine years in the making, The Color of a Flea’s Eye foregrounds the history of the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection, whose storied contents have been available, for more than a century, for patrons to sift through in search of visual references of every conceivable kind. In 1929, Romana Javitz became the collection’s superintendent, shaping its ethos and the processes governing its growing circulation. Among her many pioneering efforts was a campaign to pointedly diversify the collection’s offerings by preserving a wide-ranging record of the country’s overlooked subjects, including folk art, documentary photography, and portrayals of African American life.