Zoe Leonard: A View from the Levee

18 March - 16 April 2022
  • Since 2016, Leonard has photographed along the 2,000 km long river Rio Grande (as it is named in the United States) or Río Bravo (as it is named in Mexico) which is used to demarcate the international border between the two countries. The artist followed the river from the border cities Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico. The exhibition A View from the Levee, Leonard’s first solo presentation at Capitain Petzel, features a selection of works from this project.

  • Zoe Leonard, Prologue, 2017/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    Prologue, 2017/2022 C-prints, 40 parts
    Each 35.4 x 50.5 cm / 13.9 x 19.9 inches
    Unframed, behind glass
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, Standing on the levee, Ciudad Juárez, 2018/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    Standing on the levee, Ciudad Juárez, 2018/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    67 x 95.1 cm / 26.4 x 37.4 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, Untitled, 2020/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    Untitled, 2020/2022 Gelatin silver prints, 2 parts
    Each 42.1 x 60.3 cm / 16.6 x 23.7 inches
    Unframed, behind glass
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, From my hotel room in Laredo, 2019/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    From my hotel room in Laredo, 2019/2022 Gelatin silver prints, 4 parts
    Each 42 x 60.4 cm / 16.5 x 23.8 inches
    Unframed, behind glass
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, From Puente El Porvenir, 2019/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    From Puente El Porvenir, 2019/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    67 x 95.1 cm / 26.4 x 37.4 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Taking the unique location and architecture of the gallery – a modernist glass pavilion on Karl-Marx-Allee – as a point of departure for her selection, Leonard centers her show on the idea of lines of demarcation, in the political sense. In the once bisected city of Berlin a river flows from East to West, with as much potential for connection as for division. The b/w photographs on view at Capitain Petzel provide an understanding of the terrain and dynamics of border wall construction as well as dams, irrigation systems, detention centers and checkpoints. Leonard considers the paradox of asking a natural feature to perform a political job”.

  • Zoe Leonard, From West Paisano Drive, El Paso, 2020/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    From West Paisano Drive, El Paso, 2020/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    78.1 x 95.1 cm / 30.7 x 37.4 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    86 x 103 cm / 33.9 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, By the Railroad Bridge, El Paso, 2018/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    By the Railroad Bridge, El Paso, 2018/2022 Gelatin silver prints, 4 parts
    Each 42 x 60.5 cm / 16.5 x 23.8 inches
    Unframed, behind glass
    Edition of 3
  • The political, social and natural collide as the river flows through changing landscapes. Leonard took these photographs from both sides of the border, from points accessible to the public – observing what is in plain sight. Engaging with traditions of documentary photography and investigating the complexities of a subjective gaze, Leonard observes her subject with unwavering precision.

     

    Since the beginning of the project, the U.S.-Mexican border has increasingly become a central theme of political discourse. Correspondingly, physical changes reflect the growing tension; military presence has increased significantly on the border, while new infrastructure is being constructed to surveil and control the passage of goods and the movement of people. In this way, the photographs depict not only the varied terrain through which the river flows but also a changing socio-political landscape.

  • Zoe Leonard, A view from the levee, 2018/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    A view from the levee, 2018/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    67 x 95.2 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, Boundary Marker No. 1, 2020/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    Boundary Marker No. 1, 2020/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    67 x 95.3 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, On the Gateway to the Americas Bridge, Laredo, 2019/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    On the Gateway to the Americas Bridge, Laredo, 2019/2022 Gelatin silver prints, 5 parts
    Each 42 x 60.5 cm / 16.5 x 23.8 inches
    Unframed, behind glass
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard, By the side of the road, Peñitas, 2020/2022

    Zoe Leonard

    By the side of the road, Peñitas, 2020/2022 Gelatin silver print
    Paper dimensions:
    67 x 95.2 cm / 26.4 x 37.5 inches
    Framed dimensions:
    75 x 103 cm / 29.5 x 40.6 inches
    Edition of 3
  • Zoe Leonard: Al Río / To the River

    Mudam Luxembourg
    February 26 - June 6, 2022

    Al Río / To the River, an epic work of over 500 photographs drawn from the same project along the Río Bravo / Rio Grande, premiered in Zoe Leonard's eponymous solo presentation at Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, where it is on view until June 6, 2022, traveling to Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in October 2022. The exhibition is accompanied by a two-volume publication (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2022).

  • Recent Press

  • Zoe Leonard is among the most influential artists of her generation. Her work merges photography, sculpture, and installation, balancing rigorous...

    Ph: Jana la Brasca

    Zoe Leonard is among the most influential artists of her generation. Her work merges photography, sculpture, and installation, balancing rigorous conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision. 

     

    Leonard has exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally since the early 1990s. Her participation in Documenta IX (1992) brought her work to international attention. She has been the subject of solo shows at MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018), MoMA, New York (2015), and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2007–08), among other institutions. Leonard was a finalist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 and was awarded The Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Prize in 2014. In 2020 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow. The artist taught in the MFA program at Bard College where she served as Co-Chair of Photography from 2011-2015.

     

    Currently on view at MUDAM, Luxembourg, Leonard’s recent body of work Al Río / To the River will be presented at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris later this year. Prologue, the first chapter of Leonard’s Río Bravo / Rio Grande project was first exhibited in the Hall of Sculpture at Carnegie International in 2018.

     

    Zoe Leonard’s works are held in many public institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Pinault Collection, Venice; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

     

    Zoe Leonard  (*1961 in Liberty, New York) lives and works in New York City and Marfa, Texas.