Matthew Pillsbury

City Stages


First monograph of an artist with an established gallery track record who has been widely published

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ISBN: 9781597112376 Category:

Mark Kingwell


Matthew Pillsbury: City Stages offers a paean to the craft and visionary potential of large- format, black-and-white photography as well as to the vibrancy of the cultural landscape at a transitional moment-a moment in which our very relationship to that landscape is increas – ingly mediated by omnipresent screens. Over the past decade, Pillsbury has built several extensive bodies of work-Screen Lives, Hours, and City Stages-that deal with different facets of contemporary metropolitan life and the passage of time. Working with black-and-white 8-by-10 film and long exposures, Pillsbury captures a range of psychologically charged experiences in the urban environment, from isolation-tuned into the omnipresent screens of our tablets, laptops, televisions, and phones-to crowded museums, parades, cathedrals, and even protests. Working primarily in New York but with forays to Paris, London, Venice, and other sites, the precise and concrete rendering of cityscapes, iconic landmarks, and interior spaces in his images provides a stage-like setting for the performance of human activity. Thanks to the extended exposures-some as long as an hour-the actions of both individuals and crowds are blurred and transformed into pure gesture and energy. As writer Karl E. Johnson comments on the work, “For Pillsbury, the act of seeing appears to double as a performance, if no more than the performance of life enacted in various spaces and timeframes.” This monograph gathers for the first time selections from all three bodies of work, and spans ten years of the artist’s output.

Additional information

Weight 1680 g
Dimensions 32.5 x 27.2 cm
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 1 November 2013
Number of pages 132
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Matthew Pillsbury
Dimensions 32.5 x 27.2 cm
Weight 1680 g