19.9 – 12.10 2019
Gregory Halpern:Omaha Sketchbook
19.09 – 12.10.2019
New work by acclaimed American photographer, Gregory Halpern, was on display at Huxley-Parlour gallery for the first time to coincide with the launch of his book Omaha Sketchbook published by MACK.
Gregory Halpern has been photographing in Omaha, Nebraska, for the past 15 years, steadily compiling a lyrical, if equivocal response to the American Heartland. Halpern’s series explores notions of cognitive dissonance and unexpected harmonies, playing on a sense of simultaneous repulsion and attraction to the place. The series is ultimately a meditation on America, on the men and boys who inhabit it, and on the mechanics of aggression, inadequacy, and power.
‘Travelling to the nation’s heartland – a vague construct increasingly synonymous with the Bible belt – Halpern continues to mine this idea of Americanness in a place bounded by prairie and steeped in pioneer history. His work in the Midwestern city of Omaha reveals America as pluralised, fragmented, and teeming with its own ‘brand of hypermasculinity’, as he terms it: adolescents on the cusp of promise or obscurity, land that seemingly leads to nowhere, a sense of unending time and a dark side to domesticity.’ – Amanda Maddox, J. Paul Getty Museum.
The exhibition coincides with the launch of the MACK publication, Omaha Sketchbook and follows on from his award-winning bestseller ZZYZX also published by MACK.
B. United States 1977
Gregory Halpern is an acclaimed American photographer who has focussed his career on an exploration of the elusive, nascent notion of Americanness. He is celebrated for his pioneering photobooks, with recent publications ZZYZX and Omaha Sketchbook examples of the artist’s lyrical and poetic explorations of place.
Halpern’s celebrated photobook ZZYZX was published in 2016, and explores the landscape and people of Southern California. Named after an ‘unincorporated community’ in the Mojave desert, the project journeys from the eastern fringes of the state of California towards Los Angeles and, eventually, the Pacific. Omaha Sketchbook, compiles photographs made in Omaha, Nebraska over the past 15 years. The series, lyrical response to the American Heartland, is ultimately a meditation on America, on the men and boys who inhabit it, and on the mechanics of aggression, inadequacy, and power.
Hapern was born in 1977 in New York State. He gained a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University in 1999, and an MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco in 2004. Further books published by Hapern include A (2001), Harvard Works Because We Do (2003), East of the Sun, West of the Moon, (2014) a collaboration with Ahndraya Parlato, and Confederate Moons (2018) and Let The Sun Beheaded Be (2020). He also edited, with Jason Fulford, The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 250 Assignment and Ideas in 2014. In 2014, Halpern was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. ZZYZX was awarded Photobook of the Year at the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards in 2016. Halpern became an Associate Member of Magnum Photos in 2018 and is currently professor of photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.
He lives and works in New York.