The North Carolina Museum of Art

Reveal: Portraits by Carrie Levy

Carrie Levy, Untitled from the series Domestic Stages, 2004, chromogenic print, 82 x 62 in., Collection of Allen G. Thomas Jr., © 2004 Carrie Levy

East Building, Level A
July 21, 2013–January 26, 2014

Carrie Levy’s portraits reveal everything and nothing at the same time. This solo exhibition features photographs selected from several series Levy created over the past decade and a half. Vulnerable, disquieting, and unsettling, her portraits explore the politics of representation: the gaze of the photographer and the subject of the gaze. Although she has photographed women frequently in her work, this exhibition presents male portraits “under the microscope of a severe female gaze,” as Levy puts it. Works in the exhibition are selected primarily from her series Domestic Stages, Polaroids, and You Before All

By obscuring or withholding the face, twisting and contorting the pose, and/or tightly cropping the image, the artist creates intimate images of the human body as an abstract form. Domestic Stages consists of photographs of her friends and family members in their homes. Portrayed naked, they are all depicted turning away from the camera, hiding their faces. These photographs are extremely intimate and completely revealing but also anonymous and unidentifiable. In reference to You Before All, the artist has stated, these works “capture the way in which we stare at one another in silent judgment … It is not often that we see men represented in a passive role. I’ve chosen to use naked bodies to amplify the vulnerability of my subjects.”

Born and raised in New York, Levy now lives and works in San Francisco. She has a B.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an M.F.A. from the Royal Academy of Art in London. Her work has been featured in solo shows in New York at White Columns Gallery and Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery, and in national and international group exhibitions. At the NCMA Levy’s work is in the permanent collection and on view in the Julian T. Baker Jr. Gallery in Outsiders: Facing the Camera.

Gallery talks by photographers Brian Ulrich and Carrie Levy
Friday, September 27, 7pm

Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions.