Since the mid 1970s, Tina Barney has photographed her family and friends in color and with a large format view camera. Barney’s pictures record, in unflinching detail, the vast spectrum of social relationships, from the adroit to the awkward. These interactions take place against backdrops that are equally varied, highlighting the sometimes elegant, sometimes bizarre, always very personal spaces created in the service of comfort or entertainment. Although her pictures often seem to be tightly composed stills from some theatrical performance, they are largely un-posed: Barney waits for these visually compelling moments to coalesce, moments in which light, form, and content converge to tell a singular story about the ways in which people interact.
In conjunction with NOMA’s exhibition of its American art collection, Visions of US, the museum presents a selection of Barney’s photographs of American subjects.
Tickets to the Tina Barney keynote lecture are available for purchase here.
Tina Barney was born in New York City in 1945. The artist’s photography career began in the mid 1970s while living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Barney began photographing in color with a large format view camera just before returning to New York in 1983. Her iconic tableaux portraying the daily life of the social elite are in the permanent collections of numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Among her exhibitions the Whitney Biennial, in 1987, and a mid-career retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, in 1991. Her work has also been shown in solo exhibitions at the New York State Theatre in New York; The Barbican Art Centre, London; Museum Folkwang in Essen; Museum der Art Moderne, Salzburg. Her most recent exhibitions include The Europeans at the Frist Center in Nashville, TN; and Four Decades at the Paul Kasmin Gallery. In October, her work will be included in a major portraiture exhibition at The National Gallery, London.
Barney was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in 1991, and the 2010 Lucie Award for Achievement in Portraiture. Her monographs include Tina Barney: Theatre of Manners, The Europeans, and Players. She lives in New York City and Westerly, Rhode Island.