Mishka Henner: Less Américains
September 8 – December 23, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, September 8, 6-8pm
529 W 20th Street, 3rd Floor
Open by appointment
Silverstein/20 is pleased to present an installation of the series Less Américains by Mishka Henner. This will be the first time the complete series of 83 images is exhibited in its entirety.
Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s audacious erasure of a Willem de Kooning drawing in 1953, Henner appropriated the 83 images from Robert Frank's iconic book The Americans (first published in 1958 by Robert Delpire in France as Les Américains) and digitally erased much of the original content, leaving blank areas where once there were faces, buildings, and landscapes. The work becomes a contemporary composite belonging to our digital age; a kind of new portrait of American society emerges, conjuring up notions of missing data and lost image files, asking the psychological question of how we remember these famous images and how our relationship to them and to the medium of photography today differs from that of the past.
“…so I plunged into those mysterious details, scalpel in hand, searching for my own signs and symbols in the smooth, paper thin surface of America.” – Mishka Henner, 2013
Born in 1976 in Brussels, Belgium, Henner moved to the UK in 1984. He holds a Master’s degree from Goldsmiths College in London and in 2013 was awarded the Infinity Award for Art by the International Center of Photography. He was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in the same year and in 2014 was on the shortlist for the Prix Pictet for his large-scale works focusing on landscapes carved by the beef and oil industries of America.
Henner’s works have featured in surveys at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Fotomuseum Winterthur; Museum of Modern Art, New York; McCord Museum, Montreal; Les Rencontres d'Arles; and the International Center of Photography, New York. His works are in numerous public collections, including the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Tate Collection of Artists' Books.