Exhibition

  • Al Rio/To the River
    Zoe Leonard
    Artist
    Christophe Gallois
    Curator
    Mudam, The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg, Luxembourg City
    Mar 24, 2021 to Sep 15, 2021
  • GRANTEE
    Zoe Leonard
    GRANT YEAR
    2020

Zoe Leonard, detail from "Al Rio/To the River," 2016–21. Gelatin silver prints. Copyright © the artist

This project presents an exhibition of photographs of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo, charting the 1,200-mile section of the river which is used to demarcate the international boundary between Mexico and the United States. Comprised of over 500 photographs taken from 2016 onward, the work engages in a sustained observation of the water, surrounding landscape, and built environment including the towns, cities, factories, and infrastructure projects—dams, levees, bridges, irrigation trenches, pipelines, fences, gates, border checkpoints, and detention facilities—built alongside, over, and through the riverbed. Viewed from multiple vantage points, the river is considered as a natural feature, a water resource, a political border, and an inhabited region. The exhibition searches into layered histories, complex relationships, and the interconnectedness of life on both sides of the watershed.

Zoe Leonard is an American artist working with photography, sculpture, and site-specific installation. Leonard has exhibited widely since the early 1990s. In 2018, a midcareer retrospective was presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Selected solo shows include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Camden Arts Center, London; Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Kunsthalle Basel; Vienna Secession; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Dia Art Foundation, Beacon, NY; and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Leonard has participated in International group shows such as the 2018 Carnegie International, Documenta IX, Documenta XII, and Whitney Biennials in 1993, 1997 and 2014. Leonard taught in the graduate program at Bard College, serving as cochair of photography from 2011–15, and has been a visiting artist and guest lecturer at numerous institutions in the US and abroad.