On Repeat: Serial Photography

September 2, 2022–January 1, 2023
Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts
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Exhibitions are included with Museum admission and are free for Members.

Photography lends itself to series: both film and digital cameras make it easy to create images or capture a scene in quick succession or over time, and the images can be readily reproduced. On Repeat: Serial Photography draws on the Museum’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century photography to examine the ways artists have used serial and sequential imagery.

Some multiple images are typologies of often overlooked common structures and places, such as Bernd and Hilla Bechers’ Water Towers (Cylindrical) (1978), which draws attention to differentiating details. Others, such as Rineke Dijkstra’s Almerisa (1994–2008), are serial portraits used to consider how identities are created, represented, and recognized. Repeated experiments with the materials and technology of photography suggest the medium itself as a subject, as do variations on themes from art history. John Houck’s First Set (2015) pairs different media, prompting viewers to consider the frequently competitive relationship between painting and photography.

The artists represented in this exhibition offer new connections, reflections on the past and present, and a deeper understanding of photography by putting their subjects and processes “on repeat.”

Upcoming Events

Gallery Talk: “On Repeat: Serial Photography”

Thu, December 1, 12:00–1:00 pm

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Exhibitions in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts sponsored by: Herzfeld Foundation
The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the 2022 Visionaries:Donna and Donald BaumgartnerMurph BurkeJoel and Caran QuadracciSue and Bud SeligJeff and Gail Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation
  • Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, founded 1959 [partnership]; 1931–2007 [Bernd]; 1934–2015 [Hilla]), Water Towers (Cylindrical), 1978. Nine gelatin silver prints overall: 56 × 40 in. Gift of Herbert H. Kohl Charities, Inc., M1984.117. Copy photo by: Larry Sanders. Courtesy Sonnabend Gallery. © Estate Bernd & Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher
  • John Houck (American, b. 1977), First Set, 2015. Inkjet print. Image and sheet: 21½ × 27½ in. Purchase, with funds in memory of Betty Croasdaile and John E. Julien, M2016.76. Courtesy of Jessica Silverman, San Francisco and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York. © John Houck
  • J. Shimon & J. Lindemann (American, b. 1961 [Shimon]; American, 1957–2015 [Lindemann]), Small Town Wisconsin, 2009–12. Palladium prints in painted wood display case. 25 × 33 in. Purchase, with funds in memory of Betty Croasdaile and John E. Julien, M2015.81. Copy photo by: John R. Glembin © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann