Through January 13, 2024, Bruce Silverstein Gallery presents “The End Sends Advance Warning,” the latest chapter in Todd Hido’s expansive forty-year photographic journey. Recognized since the 1990s for his unique photographic style, Hido constructs narratives using suburban scenes, desolate landscapes and stylized portraits. Employing a pictorialist approach, he captures scenes from the driver’s seat, using windshields to transform natural elements such as condensation and dirt into painterly abstractions reminiscent of watercolour. Blurring the lines between painting and photography, Hido’s body of work develops gradually, evoking cinematic gravitas and a dreamy, almost surreal quality.
In “The End Sends Advance Warning,” Hido expands beyond the familiar setting of suburban America, seeking inspiration in the rugged terrains of the Hawaiian Islands, the shores of the Bering Sea, and the Nordic fjords above the Arctic Circle. The artist pushes viewers to contemplate the advance warning implicit in the series, challenging expectations. The cover image of Hido’s recent publication sets the tone, depicting a landscape in black, blue and green. The composition, split in two, features scattered puddles of water reflecting the twilight, a road emerging in the center and headlights piercing the murky atmosphere towards the viewer, creating a sense of impending danger. However, beyond the visible elements on the muddy road, the distant brightness of car headlights, the warmth of a porch light, and a hint of sunlight through heavy clouds convey a subtle sense of hope. In the darkness, these lights act as beacons, guiding viewers and reminding them that they are not alone.
Todd Hido emphasizes that “The End Sends Advance Warning” is not a tribute to desperation but an argument for recognizing the small moments of beauty and facing ongoing changes with hope and grace, especially in the darkest moments. The series challenges the conventions of roadside photography, a genre explored since the 1950s by luminaries such as Robert Frank, William Eggleston, and Lee Friedlander, who collectively focused on encapsulating the essence of “America.” Unlike his predecessors, Hido maintains a vantage point within his vehicle, infusing enigma, detachment and desire into his work. The resulting images depict unattainable desires, with Hido and his viewers forever on the opposite side of the car’s windshield, a threshold they can never fully surpass.
Accompanying the exhibition was the release of his latest publication, “The End Sends Advance Warning” (2023).
About the Author
Todd Hido is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Wired, Elephant, FOAM, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Getty, the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young, the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Pier 24 Photography, as well as in many other public and private collections. He has over a dozen published books; his most recent monograph titled Excerpts from Silver Meadows was released in 2013, along with an innovative b-sides box set designed to function as a companion piece to his award-winning monograph in 2014. Aperture will publish his mid-career survey in 2016.
Todd Hido: The End Sends Advance Warning
November 2, 2023 – January 13, 2024
Bruce Silverstein Gallery – New York