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Allan Sekula


Biography

Born in 1951 in Erie (Pennsylvania, USA) and died in Los Angeles (USA) in 2013.

American artist, writer and filmmaker, Allan Sekula is a leading exemplar of socially probing art, photographic and cultural practice. Starting his career with actions and performance art during the era of protests against the U.S. war in S.E. Asia, his work then turned in the early 70’s, towards a practice of social documentary while always questioning the limits of photography’s capacity for clear and reliable communication.


In his quest for a critical realism, Sekula sought to shed light on the profound ambiguity of current realities of social life, precariously balanced between objective conditions, hegemonic ideologies, and private fantasies. He focused mainly on showing the “performed” everyday life of all kinds of workers, spending his last years depicting the maritime culture of shipping and port labor as a forgotten space of late-capitalism.

Allan Sekula’s work has been exhibited at Tapies Foundation (Barcelona), Beirut Art Center, MoMa (New York), Documenta Kassel, Whitney Biennial (New York), Sao Paulo Biennial, Taipei Biennial, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitney Museum (New York), Hirschhorn Museum (Washington DC), New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Winnipeg Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Barbican Centre (London), La Virreina - Centre de la Imatge (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Foto Institute (Rotterdam), Akbank Sanat (Istanbul).

His work is part of prestigious collections as Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, CNAP - Centre National des Art Plastiques (Paris), FNAC – Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris), IAC – Institut d’Art Contemporain (Villeurbane), MACBA (Barcelona), Museo de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), BPS22 - Collections de la Province du Hainaut (Charleroi), FRAC Grand Large - Hauts-de-France / Normandie Caen / Franche-Comté / Bretagne / Normandie Rouen, Fonds d'art contemporain - Paris Collections, MoMa (New York), Whitney Museum (New York), Tate Modern (London), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Stedelijk Museum, M HKA (Antwerp), Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw), Johann Jacobs Museum (Zürich), Generali Foundation (Vienna), TBA21 collection - Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna), SFMOMA (San Francisco), Fotomuseum Winterthur, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, MUSAC - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Museum Folkwang (Essen), Ludwig Museum (Budapest), MCASD - Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, among others.


Selected works

Stodola music club. Warsaw, August 2009, Allan Sekula
Blacksmith's work. Ochojno, Poland, July 2009, Allan Sekula
Blacksmith (hammering sickle). Ochojno, Poland, July 2009, Allan Sekula
Replica of door to blacksmith's shed, in situ (original in collection of Warsaw Ethnographic Museum). Ochojno, Poland, July 2009, Allan Sekula
Eyes closed assembly line, Allan Sekula
Factory occupation. Chicago, December 2008, Allan Sekula
Travailler plus pour gagner plus, Allan Sekula
Detail from Stanislaw Batowski Pulaski at Savannah, 1932. Polish Museum of America, Chicago, August 2007, Allan Sekula
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Museum exhibitions

Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona

Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona

Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona

Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona

Beirut Art Center, Lebanon

Beirut Art Center, Lebanon

Beirut Art Center, Lebanon

Beirut Art Center, Lebanon

Columbus Museum of Art, USA

Columbus Museum of Art, USA

Columbus Museum of Art, USA

Columbus Museum of Art, USA

Jeu de Paume, Paris

Jeu de Paume, Paris

MoMA, New York

MoMA, New York

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Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula. Collective Sisyphus, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona, Spain, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula. Collective Sisyphus, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona, Spain, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Photography at work, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon, Turkey, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Photography at work, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon, Turkey, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Aerospace Folktales and Other Stories, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, USA, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Aerospace Folktales and Other Stories, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, USA, 2017

Allan Sekula -

Soulèvements, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France, 2016

Allan Sekula -

Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection, MoMA, New York, Usa, 2015

Allan Sekula -

Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection, MoMA, New York, Usa, 2015

Allan Sekula -

Lewis and Clark College, Reinventing Documentary: The Art of Allan Sekula, Hoffman Gallery, Portland, USA, 2015

Allan Sekula -

Lewis and Clark College, Reinventing Documentary: The Art of Allan Sekula, Hoffman Gallery, Portland, USA, 2015

Allan Sekula -

Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France, 2014

Allan Sekula -

Salon der Angst, Kunsthalle, Wien, Austria, 2013

Allan Sekula -

Meditations on a Triptych, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2013

Allan Sekula -

19 New Acquisitions in Photography, MOMA, New York, USA, 2013

Allan Sekula -

19 New Acquisitions in Photography, MOMA, New York, USA, 2013

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Disassembled Movies 1972 - 2012, cur. Ali Akay & Marie Muracciole, Akbank Art Center, Ali Akay, Istanbul, 2012

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Disassembled Movies 1972 - 2012, cur. Ali Akay & Marie Muracciole, Akbank Art Center, Ali Akay, Istanbul, 2012

Allan Sekula -

Critical Episodes (1957-2011), MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, 2012

Allan Sekula -

Critical Episodes (1957-2011), MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, 2012

Allan Sekula -

Critical Episodes (1957-2011), MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, 2012

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: The Dockers Museum, La Criée, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Rennes, France, 2012

Allan Sekula -

This ain't China / Act VIII : Nether Land, cur. Monika Szewczyk, Dutch Culture center, Shanghai, China, 2011

Allan Sekula -

Angry, Young and Radical, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2011

Allan Sekula -

Retrospective of Allan Sekula's films, Loop Festival, Centre de l'image, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona, 2011

Allan Sekula -

Retrospective of Allan Sekula's films, Loop Festival, Centre de l'image, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona, 2011

Allan Sekula -

Polonia and Other Fables, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Polonia and Other Fables, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Polonia and Other Fables, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Act VIII : Nether Land, Dutch Culture center, Shanghai, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Ship of Fools, Extra Muros : Allan Sekula, M_HKA, Antwerpen, Belgium, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Ship of Fools, Extra Muros : Allan Sekula, M_HKA, Antwerpen, Belgium, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil, 2010

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Polonia and Other Fables, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2009

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Polonia and Other Fables, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2009

Allan Sekula -

Allan Sekula: Polonia and Other Fables, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, USA, 2008

Allan Sekula -

Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany, 2007

Allan Sekula -

Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany, 2007

Allan Sekula -

Performance under Working Conditions, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria, 2003

Allan Sekula -

Performance under Working Conditions, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria, 2003

Allan Sekula -

Performance under Working Conditions, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria, 2003

Allan Sekula -

Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany, 2002

Allan Sekula -

Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany, 2002


Videos

TALK

Margaret Crawford introduces Allan Sekula, characterizing him as a photographer working in opposition to contemporary photography.

BOOK LAUNCH

Launch of Allan Sekula, Art Isn't Fair: Further Essays on the Traffic in Photographs and Related Media

EXHIBITION

Sally Stein on Allan Sekula's exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, 2019

FOCUS WORK

Allan Sekula, Untitled Slide Sequence - par Pascal Beausse (VOSTeng)

INTERVIEW

"What Follows" Interview Series: Allan Sekula Clip


Press

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Publications

Art Isn't Fair

Art Isn't Fair

Publisher: MACK Books

2020

Photography Against the Grain

Photography Against the Grain

Publisher: MACK books

2019

Collective Sisyphus

Collective Sisyphus

Publisher: Fundacio Antoni Tàpies

2019

"Disassembled" Images: Allan Seckula and Contemporary Art

Publisher: Leuven University Press

2019

Fish Story Allan Sekula

Fish Story Allan Sekula

Publisher: MACK book

2018

Écrits sur la photographie

Écrits sur la photographie

Publisher: Beaux-Arts de Paris

2013

Disassembled Movies 1972-2012

Disassembled Movies 1972-2012

Publisher: Akbank Art Center

2012

Polonia and Other Fables

Polonia and Other Fables

Publisher: The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Zacheta National Gallery of Art

2009

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Portfolio