Gregory Crewdson: Fireflies
May 23 - August 24, 2014
With the Fireflies series of photographs, Gregory Crewdson frames that fleeting moment when the sun slips away and the beguiling insects begin their electric dance. From one image to the next there is a multiplicity of movement, a sense of the unexpected and the uncanny. The intensity of light is generated from the riveting insects, balanced by the waning sun. Moving into total darkness, the landscape fades away and lightening bugs become the focal point. Light is a pivotal element in Crewdson’s large oeuvre and is masterfully controlled and scripted in other series such as Twilight or Dream House. Yet here he launches us into a balmy summer evening by capturing the fireflies’ spontaneous sparkle.
In this exhibition's simplicity and directness, this series is a departure from the large-scale photographs for which Crewdson is known. It was created in 1996, when Crewdson was living alone in his family’s cabin in Becket, Massachusetts. That summer, he ventured out each evening with camera in hand to observe the fireflies’ mysterious mating ritual. At the end of August, he moved on to other projects. Ten years later, he revisited the series with renewed interest, and began to print a total of 61 images. A selection of the black-and-white prints was exhibited in 2006 with a limited-edition catalogue. This is the first time the entire Fireflies series has been shown all together in one exhibition.
The acclaimed photographer has exhibited extensively throughout the world. This year, the series Beneath the Roses is on view at Museum of Image and Sound, Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The 2012 film Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters documents the remarkable process of making this series. His works are in significant public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He divides his time between New York City and his studio in Western Massachusetts.
View the press release for the exhibition.
Pictured above: Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 1996. Silver Gelatin Print. 6 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches. © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.