Photographer Jackie Nickerson subverts the portrait in her latest exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery.
In 2002, when Jackie Nickerson published Farm, a book of portraits and landscapes from Africa, she’d put a career as a fashion photographer behind her. But fashion wasn’t done with her: As soon as stylists and designers saw the inventiveness of the layered outfits worn by the field workers in her pictures (think grassroots Comme des Garçons), the book became a cult favorite. “Terrain,” her latest body of work, on view at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York from January 16 through February 15, 2014, finds her back on similar turf, but this time her human subjects appear utterly overwhelmed by the burden of their labor. All but invisible beneath bundles of wire, plastic sheeting, or banana leaves, the figures become sculptural supports. For Nickerson, the series is about issues—the environment, the value of labor—that aren’t confined to Africa.