Roger Ballen (b.1950) is one of the most recognizable and original artists working today. Known for his probing, and often challenging, images that exist between painting, drawing, installation and photography, Ballen has achieved notoriety with a series of monographs and exhibitions spanning four decades.
Last fall, Thames and Hudson published Ballenesque – Roger Ballen: A Retrospective, a collection based on a new evaluation of the artist’s archive that looks beyond his monographic projects. This Saturday, April 26, 2018, an exhibition opens at the Fahey/Klein Gallery with images drawn from the book, some iconic and some displayed for the first time. Both the exhibition and book are a chronological journey through Ballen’s entire oeuvre.
In his introduction to Ballenesque, Robert J.C. Young writes, “There is a certain point in the evolution and trajectory of Roger Ballen’s photographs when they become identifiably his, so much so that even if you discovered that they were not actually taken by him, the images would remain ‘Ballenesque.'” Young goes on to write about the elements that make Ballen’s work distinctive: “Ballen resembles more a painter than a photographer, since his work demonstrates a constant evolution, not just of subject matter, but also of aesthetic modes, techniques, and preoccupations; what is remarkable is that his images still remain recognizably, distinctively ‘Ballenesque’ throughout.”
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