Galerie Edwynn Houk is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Victor Schrager
(American, b. 1950) from the artist's ongoing series, Composition as Explanation. This is the artist's first
exhibition in Zürich. The show will take place from 10 January through 2 March 2013.
A master of still-life photography and widely revered for his images of birds and everyday objects, Victor
Schrager embraces modernism while rethinking its components to create something new. Over the past
twenty-five years, books have been a main element in Schrager’s photographs. In his ongoing
project, Composition as Explanation, he has focused on the book itself, using its color and shape in a
purely aestheticized context. Pages are not revealed, titles are not seen: the ultimate symbol of intellectual
investigation has been reduced to form.
Using a very shallow depth of field, careful lighting and composition, Schrager produces partially
abstracted images of luminous planes that meet sometimes sharp, defined edges. There is a mild and
appealing irony in the way these bearers of very particular information turn into nondescript shapes, as
well as in this dissolution of the predictably solid into vaporous fields of color. But it is precisely those
same seductive colors and surfaces, those mysterious forms and spaces that belie the layers of meaning.
“The books are as necessary and irrelevant as Morandi’s pitchers, Stieglitz’ clouds, Cezanne’s fruit,
Weston’s peppers, or Penn’s frozen food,” writes Schrager. And further, “The real purpose in making
these pictures is addressing the box of space that sits in front of me, and seeing if it is once again possible
to pull a compelling picture out of it; again and again, until the activity transcends the environment in
which it takes place. Everything is surrendered to the visual.”
A Harvard graduate, Victor Schrager is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the MacDowell Colony
Resident Fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His work has been featured
in numerous one person and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His photographs
are in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The
Whitney Museum of American Art, The Center for Creative Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of
Art, Polaroid International Collection, The International Center of Photography, and The San Francisco
Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in New York City.