The Paci contemporary gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition “Nancy Burson: Composites. The Pioneer of computer-generated portraits”, centered on the American photographer Nancy BURSON, the last great new entry in the gallery.
Since the beginning of her artistic career, Nancy Burson has been interested in the interactions between art and science and was among the first artists to apply digital technology to the genre of photographic portraiture. Through the synthesis of several photos made possible by the use of her very personal working method, Burson generates completely new works that challenge photographic truth with the birth of digital manipulation. Her work is to be considered unique because she was the first artist to indroduce “composite” portraits into the electronic age. Indeed, she is known for her pioneering work in the use of morphing technologies: the use of computer programs to overlay and manipulate photos showing new aspects of the age, race or character of the original subject. In addition, by merging two or more images into a “composite”, Nancy Burson’s work also includes computer-modified images through a distorting system that intervenes by changing the reality of an image, aging and rejuvenating photographs, and thus projecting a portrait in the future or in the past.
In collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nancy Burson began producing computer-generated “composite” portraits in the late 1970s and early 1980s: she developed software that could be used to “age” a human face. Her work has its roots in centuries of social, scientific and pseudo-scientific studies on the human face. However, the artist’s attitude towards science has always been imbued with irony and a profound awareness of the absurdities inherent in many historical concepts, such as those of race and gender, which we take for granted today. This great anthological exhibition “Composites” explores the first pioneering works of Nancy Burson from 1976 (“Methods and Apparatus producing an image of a person’s face at a different age”) to the “composite” series of the ’70s and’ 80s. By digitally combining and manipulating images of often well-known individuals, including movie stars and world leaders, Burson examines political issues, gender, race and beauty standards.
A special section of the exhibition will then be dedicated to the series of “Composite paintings” of 1986: Nancy Burson used her techniques to combine and mix some of the most famous masterpieces of twentieth century artists such as Picasso, De Kooning, Rothko, Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Newman.
Opening: on Friday, April 13th, 2018 6-8 pm.
Via Trieste, 48, 25121 Brescia BS, Italy
April 13, 2018 to September 30, 2018