Gagosian Paris is pleased to present “Remembered Light,” an exhibition of color and black-and-white photographs by Sally Mann, taken between 1999 and 2012. Following its New York debut in September 2016, the exhibition has been adapted for the Paris gallery, taking on a more intimate scale and incorporating several previously unseen works.
Mann is known and regarded for her images of personal and familiar subjects rendered sublime and disquieting: children, landscape, family, and the nature of mortality. In previous projects, she explored relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, nature and history. In her latest exhibition of photographs spanning more than a decade, she records in fleeting impressions the working habitat of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor.
Twombly and Mann are both natives of Virginia. The landscape to which Twombly returned each year is also the memoryscape of Mann’s connection to him. This was documented in her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, in which she recalls his elemental nature, his southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. Recalling her time with Twombly, Mann writes, “Our part of the South, remote, beautiful, and patinaed with the past, allows us such a remove, the distance of another time.”
Under Mann’s gaze, and the warm light of Virginia, the accumulations and ordinary objects in Twombly’s studio reveal themselves not only as evidence of a richly imaginative and cultivated life lived and marked by tactility, but also as the overflow of his general modus operandi—in Simon Schama's words, “the leftovers, smears, and stains, and an absence turned into a presence.” In images such as Remembered Light, Untitled (Angled Light) (1999–2000), the unremarkable passage of time is evoked, as well as the willed quietude that surrounded Twombly's creative existence. With Remembered Light, Untitled (Squat White Sculpture and Paint Edges) (2012), Mann indicates the haptic processes leading to the creation of one of his sculptures. Even without the artist's actual presence, Mann is able to vividly evoke the human traces evident in daily life and work.
Mann’s poetic images of time recorded testify to the fragments and deposits of Twombly’s artistic life. As well, they speak to her deft, sharp ability to record interiority and her singular eye for the immediate, the intimate, and the present becoming memory.
A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Simon Schama, and a conversation between Sally Mann and Edmund de Waal, published by Abrams, accompanies the exhibition.
Sally Mann was born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, where she continues to live and work. A Guggenheim fellow, and a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994), and What Remains (2007). Her most recent book, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (Little, Brown, 2015), has been met with critical acclaim and is a New York Times best seller, along with being shortlisted for the National Book Award and recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence for Nonfiction. Her work has been exhibited by major institutions, and is held in public and private collections worldwide, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta.