CULTURE

Rethinking the Stock Image in “Ordinary Pictures”


These days, it’s impossible to consume the Internet without also packing on the empty calories of stock images. Lacking nutritional value and bland to the point of tastelessness, generic stock photography has nonetheless attracted forward-looking artists who can see a certain kind of transgressive quality in their banality. In “Ordinary Pictures,” an exhibition on view at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis through October 9, the likes of Robert Heinecken, Steve McQueen, Anne Collier, and Sarah Charlesworth show us what we are overlooking every day.

1

Steve McQueen, “Once Upon A Time,” 2002. Collection Walker Art Center.

2

Sarah Charlesworth, “Tiger,” 1985. Courtesy the Estate of Sarah Charlesworth and Maccarone Gallery, New York.

3

Anne Collier, “Stock Photography (Gestures),” 2013. Courtesy the artist.

4

Liz Deschenes, “Green Screen #4,” 2001. Courtesy the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York.

5

Steven Baldi, “Branded Light (Mamiya),” 2014. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Duncan Gallery, Los Angeles.

6

Guthrie Lonergan, “Artist Looking at Camera,” 2006. Courtesy the artist.

7

Robert Heinecken, “Recto/Verso,” 1988. Courtesy Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.

8

Louise Lawler, “Portrait,” 1982. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

9

Albert Oehlen, “Untitled (cow 2),” 2011. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago.

10

Richard Prince, “Untitled (living rooms),” 1977. Copyright retained by the artist.

11

Amanda Ross-Ho, “OMEGA,” 2012. Courtesy the artist; Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago; Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York; and The Approach, London Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

12

Edward Ruscha, “Parking Lots,” 1967/1999. © Ed Ruscha.