Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus, OH

(614) 221-6801


Photographic Tableaux: Tina Barney's Family Album


American artist Tina Barney has photographed her family and friends in their leisure-class surroundings for 20 years. Photographic Tableaux: Tina Barney 's Family Album, organized by the Columbus Museum of Art, features approximately 27 of her large-scale (4 feet x 5 feet) color photographs that span her career. They will be on view from January 22 - March 21, 1999.

According to curator of photography and exhibition organizer Catherine Evans, the works range from early busy groupings to simpler, highly charged recent works. They show Barney's subjects in their day-to-day activities in seemingly candid moments. "Tina Barney is one of the few photographers working to describe the private world of the privileged from inside, as a member of that world," said Evans. "She has captured her friends and family surrounded by the accessories that define their environment, in richly detailed and very large color prints that render her subjects almost life-size."

Of the works on view, some earlier photographs will be compared with later versions of the same subject. For example, a 1987 photograph of Marina and her father, titled Marina 's Room, place the two in an animated exchange in the young girl's bedroom, complete with lace bedding and frilly dresses hanging in the closet. Ten years later, a photograph of the same two people in the same bedroom is quite different, as the now teenage Marina holds a cigarette in her hands, with her father by her side, both confronting the camera directly. Viewers may be drawn to the rich display of antique furniture, original art, and expensive clothing; however, according to Barney, those who respond only to those details "miss the point"--her primary concern is to investigate interpersonal relationships. "How people treat each other is more interesting to me than the class they come from," Barney said.

During the run of the exhibition, the Museum will also exhibit works by contemporary photographer Andreas Gursky in the Ross Photography Center.

"The Columbus Museum of Art begins 1999 with two stellar contemporary photography exhibitions," said Irvin Lippman, executive director, Columbus Museum of Art. "It continues a commitment we have made to the study of photography. Thanks to the curatorial talent of Catherine Evans and the increased level of interest in our Friends of Photography, the year ahead in the Ross Photography Center looks very exciting."

From Columbus, Photographic Tableaux: Tina Barney 's Family Album will travel to the Panish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, and the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


About the Artist

Barney was born in New York City in 1945. In 1971, she began collecting photographs, and from collecting she moved to the study of photography. She has consistently photographed her extended family and friends, and has continued to develop both her technique and her individual vision.

Barney's work is in many public and private photography collections, including George Eastman House in Rochester, The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), the Museum of Fine Arts in Houson, and the Yale University Art Gallery. In 1990, her work was exhibited at MOMA, and it continues to be exhibited both nationally and internationally.

Ed.: photo link is to museum's website image concerning the exhibition.


rev. 8/24/10

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