Artist: Sharon Lockhart (American, born 1964)
Medium: Chromogenic print
Dimensions: Image: 185.4 x 276.9 cm (73 x 109 in.)
Frame: 74 in. × 114 in. × 4 in. (188 × 289.6 × 10.2 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Neuberger Berman Foundation Gift and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2004
Accession Number: 2004.62
Lockhart is a Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker whose work draws on and extends the strain of Western visual culture characterized by precise, contemplative observation of the everyday, from Northern European paintings by Vermeer and Friedrich to the structuralist and ethnographic cinema of Michael Snow and Jean Rouch. Known for her "directorial style of location scouting and obsessively realized mise-en-scènes, the artist displays a bravura talent for atmospheric and psychological effects, redolent with mystery, that both provoke and frustrate the viewer's desire for narrative resolution.
This work is a remarkable reading lesson in the nature of photographic representation, with its play of reflections and doublings across a grid of windows that thrusts the protagonist forward into our space, as if he stood with us before this rain-soaked bedroom/skyline conflating interior and exterior-imagination and reality-onto a single plane. The camera mysteriously draws significance and drama from each banal detail-from the American flag, to the aircraft warning lights, to the wrinkles on the young man's shirt. In its synthesis of the quotidian and the ineffable, Lockhart's picture is an important statement on the nature of subjective experience in our time.