Photographs by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

Visiting Artists & Designers

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture presents Andrea Robbins and Max Becher: Portraits, curated by Maurice Berger, senior research scholar at the CADVC. Andrea Robbins and Max Becher: Portraits is the first exhibition to examine the portrait photographs of this esteemed husband-and-wife team. Their portraits—like their radical landscapes and city-scenes—are powerfully evocative, boldly subverting our expectations of the discipline. Rather than "capturing" the visual essence of a sitter, they reveal identity to be complex, transitive, and culturally and historically defined. The artists capture their subjects in ways that transform, enhance, and accentuate our understanding of them. They do so with the full complicity and respect of the people they photograph. They immerse themselves in its history. They interview its residents and participate in their rituals and customs. They photograph them in various, active stages of work, play, and home life. Ultimately, Robbins and Becher allow their subjects to represent themselves—not only as they would like to been seen, but also in ways that illuminate the complexity of their humanity. By seeing identity as changeable and conditional, these improbable portraits remind us that who we are is as much a matter of choice as destiny. The exhibition will contain eight series created over the past fifteen years: German Indians (1997-98), Colonial Remains (1991), Bavarian by Law (1995-96), The Americans of Samaná (1998-2001), Sosúa (1999-2000), The Oregon Vortex (1994), Postville (2005), and Figures (2002).