Renowned American photographer JoAnn Verburg has called Spoleto, Italy, home for the past 25 years. This exhibition features the architecture of Spoleto with an emphasis on the intersection between past and present – a concern as relevant for Charleston as it is for the city of Spoleto. Admission to this special exhibition is included with general museum admission. Presented by Spoleto Festival USA.
JoAnn Verburg's photographs are dizzying. Using sharp angles, blurred corners, and close-ups of historic alleyways, windows, and anonymous locals in Spoleto, Italy, the photographer throws the viewer off balance, giving her fixed images a feeling of motion. The large, single- and multi-paneled plexiglass prints of buildings and faces are taken with a 5x7 camera. Subjects stare directly at the viewer or close their eyes as if caught, "interrupted" by the artist. "Verburg has learned that all observation, including the seemingly most objective, is always subjective, selective, slanted, focused, blurred, disconnected, or somehow interrupted," says Walter Liedtke, curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Verburg's work has been shown throughout the world, including a recent mid-career retrospective organized by the Met. The Spoleto exhibit will mark the artist's first exhibition since her solo show at MOMA in 2007-2008.
Verburg's photographs of her (sometimes willing) husband, poet Jim Moore, have been compared to Alfred Stieglitz's portraits of Georgia O'Keefe.