Matthew Pillsbury: Then and Now

14 November - 21 December 2019

Notre Dame de Paris, November, 2018
L’esclave Rebelle, Musée du Louvre, 2010
The Rainbow Room, 2016
Rain Vortex, Jewel Changi Airport, 2019
The Peak, Hong Kong, 2016
Infinity Pool, Marina Bay Sands, 2019
Mirror Maze, Jewel Changi Airport, 2019
Goya's Last Communion of Saint Joseph of Calasanz, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2014
La Salle des États, Le Louvre, 2008
Grand Palais des Glaces, Paris, 2014
Chemistry Party, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, 2018
Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, 2019
Dinner at Cloud 9, Revolving Restaurant, Vancouver, 2009
Winged Victory, the Louvre, 2008
Hanami #2, Chidorigafuchi, Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Press Release

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of works by Matthew Pillsbury (American, b. 1973). On view from Thursday, November 14th through Saturday, December 21st, Then and Now will be the artist’s inaugural show with the gallery. Featuring fifteen images encompassing both his black and white and color work, the exhibition marks the debut of Pillsbury’s latest photographs taken in 2019, which will be displayed alongside a selection of important earlier works spanning series such as Screen LivesTime Frame, and Sanctuary.

Meditating on the themes of space, time and urban existence, Pillsbury’s images challenge conceptions of permanence by using long-exposures to depict the flow of time through the physical spaces we occupy. Often taken using exposures exceeding one hour, the sharp, clear photographs capture a striking contrast between buildings and other stationary objects that appear as solid, enduring entities, and the throngs of people in perpetual motion who pass through the frame as transparent incorporeal apparitions, in flux and impermanent. There is a haunting quality to the images; set in recognizable places, our sense of familiarity is destabilized by the apparent paradox of experiencing a continuous stretch of time in a single instant. Spectral trails of museum visitors wash over the stone steps of the Louvre in front of Winged Victory, while a stream of amorphous bodies glides through the water to the edge of the infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel. 

Then and Now transports us through Pillsbury’s oeuvre—from the subtle visual wonder of his early black and white series in which he established this signature technique, to stunning new color images taken during his most recent trip to Singapore—and around the world, embodying his ongoing investigation of the ways in which we fill both space and time. With images from New York, Paris, Tokyo, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore, clusters of people flow through each frame in a photographic representation of the passage of time, and a reminder of the transient, ever changing nature of our presence. 

Matthew Pillsbury graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1995 and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2004. In 2007, he was awarded the Prix Fondation HSBC pour la Photographie in France, and is also a recipient of the 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship. In 2013, Pillsbury published his monograph City Stages with Aperture. His work is represented in the collections of a range of notable institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Tate Modern, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Musée du Louvre, Paris; among many others.