Rosalind Fox Solomon: Photographs from the Private Archive

From September 2nd to November 25th, 2023, Galerie Julian Sander will unveil a captivating array of photographs sourced from the private archives of Rosalind Fox Solomon (born in 1930). An air of anticipation surrounds this exhibition, which is poised to present a curated selection of enigmatic images that beckon viewers to delve deeper, inviting them to linger and contemplate.
Embarking on her photographic odyssey during the early 1970s, Rosalind Fox Solomon’s artistic trajectory was profoundly influenced by her mentorship under Lisette Model. These formative years saw her frequently traversing the vibrant streets of New York City in pursuit of her craft.
Reflecting on her transformative journey, Solomon remarks, “My liberation began with her.” The artistic guidance she received from Model emboldened her to embrace a diverse tapestry of subjects. Unafraid of the disquieting and the unsettling, she captured moments that bore an indelible impact. This sentiment resonated in her assertion: “I took all kinds of pictures. Model encouraged me to go for the strongest picture, not to be afraid because they were disturbing.” – Rosalind Fox Solomon, 2018.
The resultant body of work she cultivated stands as a testament to her artistry. Solomon’s lens is keenly attuned to themes of identity, religion, conflict, and sexuality. These subjects are woven together with threads of her personal narrative, converging into a broader exploration of societal concerns.
A defining hallmark of Solomon’s oeuvre is her remarkable ability to encapsulate the intricacies of human nature. Her images reverberate with an intensity of emotion, laying bare the complexities that underlie the human psyche. In this pursuit, she confronts the discomfiting and the contentious head-on. Through her lens, she offers a profound reflection on life’s splendor and challenges, demanding viewers to confront the intricate lattice of their own society.
The photographs borne of Solomon’s vision resonate like vignettes from character-driven narratives. Gaze meets gaze as her subjects lock eyes with the camera, eliciting a gamut of potential interpretations. Simultaneously, some subjects defy expectations, provoking bemusement, irritation, or perhaps a smile. Rosalind Fox Solomon possesses an uncanny knack for capturing the enigmatic fragments of human existence. She does so with a sensibility that is both empathetic and affectionate, fostering a reciprocal exchange of empathy.
This venerable artist’s legacy has found a home in the collections of more than 50 museums across the globe. A constellation of awards adorns her journey, encompassing a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICP, a Guggenheim Foundation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Lucie Achievement Award Portrait Prize. Alongside her notable opus “Liberty Theater,” her literary endeavors encompass “Got to Go,” “THEM,” “Polish Shadow,” and “Chapalingas.” Currently, she resides and creates amidst the pulsating energy of New York City.

A portrait of Rosalind Fox Solomon by Jonno Rattman

About the Author

Rosalind Fox Solomon’s presence has graced exclusive circles within a rich tapestry of cultures. Her lens has seized the pivotal instants of the 20th century, spanning from her documentation of the American South in her acclaimed endeavor, “Liberty Theater,” to her revolutionary project, “Portraits in the Time of AIDS.” The culmination of her prolific career was celebrated in 2019 when the ICP bestowed upon her a Lifetime Achievement award, a testament to her indelible mark. Complementing this honor are her array of accolades, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Lucie Achievement in Portraiture, and a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.
At the core of her prowess lies an innate ability to decode and capture the essence of the cultures that envelop her during her journeys. She interweaves the fixations and apprehensions that accompany her, imprinting her personal narrative onto her art. Echoing her visionary pursuits are creations like “Adios” and “Catacombs,” immersive installations that resonate with depth. These endeavors are complemented by her handcrafted books and two evocative short films, “To Highlands” and “A Woman I Once Knew.” Among her published works under MACK are the volumes “THEM,” “Got to Go,” “Liberty Theater,” and “The Forgotten.” Looking ahead, 2024 holds the promise of another addition to her literary legacy, with MACK slated to release her forthcoming book.
The resonance of Fox Solomon’s daring artistic narratives reverberates through nearly 30 solo exhibitions and over 75 group showcases. Her creations find sanctuary in the hallowed halls of esteemed museums worldwide, including icons like MoMA, the National Gallery of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, SFMOMA, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Museo de Arte de Lima, the National Gallery of Canada, the Rijksmuseum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A pivotal juncture in 2021 marked the acquisition of the Rosalind Fox Solomon Collection by MUUS, solidifying her legacy in the annals of art history.


Rosalind Fox Solomon – Photographs from the Private Archive
2 Sep – 25 Nov 2023
Galerie Julian Sander – Cologne – Germany

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