Over the past twenty years, books have been both subject and backdrop in Victor
Schrager’s photographs. Most recently, they served as the isolating element behind flowers and plants in his platinum Botany series, a meditation on nature and culture. In his latest series Schrager has focused on the book itself, now using its color and shape in a purely aestheticized context. Pages are not revealed, titles are not seen: the ultimate symbol of intellectual investigation has been reduced to form.
In these partially abstracted images, luminous planes meet sometimes sharp, descriptive edges. There is a mild and appealing irony in this dissolution of the predictably solid into vaporous fields of color. But it is precisely those same seductive colors and surfaces that belie the layers of meaning. Like Weston’s pepper “nudes” or Stieglitz’s cloud “equivalents”, Schrager’s books have attained a level of transformation. They must be read simultaneously as everyday object and sublime image.
A Harvard graduate, Victor Schrager (b. 1950) is a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and of a MacDowell Colony Resident Fellowship. His work has been featured in numerous one person and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Japan over the past twenty years. His photographs are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Center for Creative Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Polaroid International Collection, The International Center of Photography, The San Francisco Museum of Art, and various private collections.