The exhibition focuses on Sarah Charlesworth‘s rarely exhibited works from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Her photographic works were based on the deconstruction of the institutional visual imagery. The years examined by the show proved particularly significant in the artist’s career as they marked a shift from the techniques of her early education to those of quotation, appropriation and editing typical of the “Pictures Generation”.
This path is evident in the images on show: the earliest ones, from the “Modern History” series (1977-79) investigate the mechanisms which lie behind the reproduction of pictures in the media. Over the years, Charlesworth’s practice evolved to include the production of bigger-scale pieces, often composed by cutting, collaging, rephotographing and selectively colourising found images. The most recent series on view, titled “Red Collages” (1983-84), is representative of a further step in the artist’ research in which the smaller-scale photographic objects become more complex, to the point of acquiring three-dimensional features.