PDN Photo of the Day

On Loneliness in a City

“The City (And a Few Lonely People),” a group show inspired by Olivia Laing’s bestselling book The Lonely City, is currently on view at ClampArt. “You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavor to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people,” writes Olivia Laing.

ClampArt’s exhibition takes The Lonely City as a springboard and explores isolation within urban spaces through pieces by artists specifically discussed by Laing in the book (Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz) and many others who traverse the same terrain. While Laing considers painters, writers, photographers, and performance artists in the book,”The City (And a Few Lonely People),” looks at loneliness specifically through a photographic eye concentrating on the late 20th-century to the present, including images by Diane Arbus, David Armstrong, John Arsenault, Clarissa Bonet, Larry Clark, Jen Davis, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Michael Massaia, Daido Moriyama, Mark Morrisroe, Lori Nix/Kathleen Gerber, Jack Pierson, Richard Renaldi, Laura Stevens, David Wojnarowicz, Frank Yamrus, and Marc Yankus.

The Lonely City was born after Laing went through a painful end to a short and explosive romance. She decided to leave her home in England to spend time in New York City, where she experienced loneliness at a level previously unknown. The resulting book is an insightful memoir, which traces the writer’s experience of isolation in a cold, new place through the lens of a group of artists whose works reflect and ruminate upon the same emotion.

“Loneliness, I began to realize, was a populated place: a city in itself,” writes Laing.

“The City (And a Few Lonely People)”
Through March 19, 2019

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