Reception with the artist
Thursday, May 17, 6 – 8 pm
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York is proud to present Persona, a solo exhibition by British photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten. There will be a reception for the artist on Thursday, May 17 from 6 to 8 pm. Persona runs from May 2 through June 30.
Julia Fullerton-Batten, known for her investigations of teenage girls, their psyches, and their relationships with others, will be showcased in Jenkins Johnson Gallery’s Persona exhibition. Teenage Stories (2005), School Play (2007), and In Between (2009-2010) have received much critical acclaim and have been featured in the New Yorker, Le Monde, and the Financial Times, among others. Her work was the cover image for Thames & Hudson’s 2009 book A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography. Fullerton-Batten has shown at esteemed international institutions such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; and a solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Persona features the world-premiere of Julia Fullerton-Batten’s new series Mothers & Daughters, her most recent exploration of the unique and difficult time of adolescence. The series, inspired by her and her sisters’ relationship with their mother, portrays the complex and sometimes challenging relationship between mothers and their daughters. She continues to work with street-cast, non-model subjects, whose subtle awkwardness and discomfort in front of the camera emphasize the reality of the scenes. Her use of eerie artificial light gives the final photographs a theatrical, other-worldly atmosphere. Through depictions of infant, adolescent, middle-aged, and elderly subjects in this series, Fullerton-Batten showcases the changing nature of mother-daughter relationships throughout their lifespan.
Fullerton-Batten’s Awkward series further examines the complex relationships encountered during adolescence. In these works, she delves into interactions between the sexes, creating a sense of heightened stress. While there may be underlying sexual tension, largely hormonal, the teens lack the maturity to know how to handle their very adult impulses. This observation of the psychological intricacies and the dynamics of post-childhood development mirrors the motivation behind Mothers & Daughters, providing us with additional insight into the lives of teenagers.
Also featured in Persona are four works from Fullerton-Batten’s seminal 2005 series Teenage Stories, which documents the start of her study of teen girls. Book, Broken Eggs, P&O, and Reflection in Water, previously unavailable prints, will be featured in the exhibition. These works have been extremely popular since their inclusion in Fullerton-Batten’s 2007 book Teenage Stories. In this series, she heightens and emphasizes the girls’ feelings of not belonging by photographing them as giants amid miniature villages. The pieces, while visually stunning, also capture the vulnerability of youth.
All of Fullerton-Batten’s series show regular people who, although quite static and emotionless, truly bring us closer to understanding the inner workings of the teenage mind. Jenkins Johnson Gallery is proud to present her first New York solo show.