Jessica Lange: Unseen at the Museum of Photographic Arts

© Jessica Lange / Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, and Rose Gallery, Santa Monica.

© Jessica Lange _ Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, and Rose Gallery, Santa Monica.

The Museum of Photographic Arts prsents Unseen by Jessica Lange.

What happens when you switch from being in front of the camera to behind one? Acclaimed actress and accomplished photographer Jessica Lange reveals the view from behind the lens, with a private body of work that showcases her travels around the world. On view February 9 through May 19, 2013, UNSEEN gathers 134 images for Lange’s first museum retrospective in the United States.

Lange, well known as a screen actress, has been intrigued by the medium of photography for decades, initially as a way to document those close to her. In her book 50 Photographs, Lange writes, “I remember going through boxes of photographs, even as a child, and being intrigued by them – that ability to capture a fleeting instant on film as a record of time and space.” In 1967, she was awarded a scholarship to study photography at the University of Minnesota, which she gave up to pursue acting. While studying abroad in Paris during this time, Lange spent time with notable photographers Robert Frank and Danny Lyon. She has since developed a well-­‐honed eye that has remained largely private for the last two decades. UNSEEN presents a rare look at the artist’s work made during this time.

“UNSEEN demonstrates that the talented Jessica Lange is at home on both sides of the camera, as an actor and as a photographer in her own right,” said Deborah Klochko, executive director, MOPA. “Her photographs are powerful and evocative, allowing the viewer access to a part of life few take time to truly see. Her images have a strong cinematic sensibility, but one that often skirts the edge of darkness.”

Divided into two sections, Mexico – On Scene and Things I See, the exhibition draws on a series of honest yet moving images of the artist’s travels in Russia, Finland, Ethiopia, Minnesota, Italy, New York and Mexico. Lange has now been photographing her travels around the globe for more than 15 years, approaching the art as an antidote to the constant fervor of Hollywood. “It is a way of working,” she says of her process, “that is the opposite of acting. Photography doesn’t depend on collaboration; it can be solitary and private.” Alternately comforting and disquieting, Lange’s striking and unexpected sequences possess a kind of moody mystery that is appropriately cinematic.

Over the course of her wanderings Lange has encountered life and captured its nuances, specifically focusing on the everyday. Lange’s photographs exist as unpretentious documents that bring the movement of life into focus. With little regard to longitude and latitude, month or year, Lange’s photographs state what is with elegant simplicity. Lange writes, “I like the ambiguity where things aren’t obvious and explained all in that moment. … I like that in acting, in photography, in film.”

In 2012 Jessica Lange was honoured with a Double Exposure Award from the Lucie Foundation.

Venue: Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado  San Diego, CA 92101

Date: 9th February – 19th May 2013

For more information please visit:

© Jessica Lange / Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, and Rose Gallery, Santa Monica.

© Jessica Lange _ Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, and Rose Gallery, Santa Monica.

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