The Art Academy of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Art Museum will present an exhibition and free lecture by artist-in-residence Leo Rubinfien, a Chicago-born photographer whose acclaimed series, Wounded Cities, provides an intimate view of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary grief, terror and the mental wounds of tragic unrest. The photographer witnessed first hand the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the inspiration for Wounded Cities.
One week before September 11, 2001, Leo Rubinfien, his wife and small children moved into a new apartment next door to the World Trade Center. They witnessed the violence of that day close up, fled with the crowds of evacuees, and later returned to a damaged home and a city whose wounds remained open for years. Through those hours of destruction and the subsequent days of displacement, the artist
never picked up a camera, but months afterward, while working in Tokyo at the time of the first Bali bombings, he began to examine the ways in which people who had known terrorism in their recent past had suffered mental wounds. Rubinfien was less interested in physical wounds than in the psychological marks an attack can leave. "I found myself searching the faces on each street corner," he wrote later, "where, as people waited for the light to change…I would hope to discover indications of who they really were, what they really felt and thought. I began to photograph some of the people, almost as if the pictures might contain clues."
Over the next five years, Rubinfien visited many locations including London, Nairobi, Kuta Beach, Moscow, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and Colombo, looking intimately at the ordinary people of those cities and searching for indications of how terrorism had altered their worlds.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 pm in the Cincinnati Art Museum's Fath Auditorium. Reservations are not required, but early arrival is recommended. Parking $4. Free parking for Cincinnati Art Museum members.
The public will have the opportunity to meet Rubinfien on Friday, October 21 at the opening reception, which will take place from 5-7 pm in the Art Academy of Cincinnati's Convergys Gallery.
Leo Rubinfien was born in Chicago in 1953. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts in 1974 and Master of Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Art in 1976. He began traveling and exhibiting soon after graduating from Yale. His early work was distinguished by its use of rich color and its attention to what would be called "globalization." Reviewing his first one-person exhibition at Castelli Graphics, New York, in 1982, Art in America called Rubinfien one of the most promising of the generation of young color photographers who were then rising to prominence. His book, Wounded Cities, was published in 2008 by Steidl.
The Residency is sponsored by Lightborne, Inc.
The lecture, exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.
October 21 – November 11, 2011
Convergys Gallery, Art Academy of Cincinnati
Opening Reception: Friday, October 21, 5-7 pm
Wednesday, October 19 at 7:00 pm, Cincinnati Art Museum's Fath Auditorium