Set sail with Anderson & Low: Voyages and Discoveries

25 October 2019

Region: Headquarters

© Anderson and Low

The George Eastman Museum will present Anderson & Low: Voyages and Discoveries in its main galleries until 5 January 2020. The exhibition is the US premiere of UK-based artist duo Anderson & Low’s most recent series, Voyages. For this exhibition, the artists also selected works from the Eastman Museum collection that they perceived to resonate with their work. In addition, the show will include excerpts from Anderson & Low’s previous bodies of work and new photographs made in response to their explorations of the museum’s collection.  They are Honorary Fellows of the RPS. 

Anderson & Low are renowned for blending fact and fiction into seamless, realistic photographs, using a wide variety of historic and contemporary photographic processes. Their latest series, Voyages, is an interpretation of the British Science Museum’s collection of historical ship models in which new stories emerge. The artists used the protective plastic sheeting that covers the models in storage as a prism. The resulting pictures present the historic boats and ships as atmospheric vignettes, their details cloaked in a misty haze that suggests the thrill and anticipation of embarking on a new adventure. At the same time, the antique vintage of the models conjures legends of ancient mariners and chronicles from the Age of Exploration. 

Voyages represents a continued exploration of recurrent themes in our photographs: it studies the relationship between fantasy and perceived reality, pushing at the boundaries of what a photograph is ‘supposed to do,’ and relating these concepts to art history,” said Anderson & Low. “The main focus of Voyages and Discoveries is seeing the world differently and making amazing discoveries as a result, which was also the focus of our curatorial intentions as we explored the Eastman Museum’s collection to find correlations with our own work.

Eastman Museum Anderson & Low: Voyages and Discoveries includes more than fifty works from the George Eastman Museum’s photography collection that the artists felt had an unexpected correspondence with these ideas and with their previous works. These objects from the museum collection and works from Anderson & Low’s previous series—including Chrysalis, Manga Dreams, On the Set of James Bond’s Spectre, Abstraction, and New Process—will be on view side by side to allow visitors to see and think about the visual and conceptual conversations they ignite. Anderson & Low will premiere a new Star Wars image that Lucasfilm has given special permission for the artists to create specifically for this exhibition, as well as a new Manga Dreams–style portrait of the internationally acclaimed violin sensation Ray Chen. 

The common theme binding all the photographs on display is, in the artists’ words, ‘Making true voyages of discovery does not mean seeking new landscapes, but using one’s own imagination to view the world through new eyes,’” said Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photography, George Eastman Museum. “We are thrilled that Anderson & Low found so much inspiration in our collection and in addition to selecting some of our objects for display, they have also chosen to create several new pieces in response to what they’ve discovered here. Several of those works will be on view as well, creating an exhibition that challenges us all to look at things differently and find commonalities among items that may appear very different at first glance.” 

The exhibition Anderson & Low: Voyages and Discoveries will be on view until 5 January, 2020.  For more information about public programming, visit eastman.org

Images: Top: ©  Anderson & Low; Below: Frederick H. Evans Transverse section of a sea urchin under magnification, 1887. Collection of George Eastman Museum.