A young, handsome man sleeps on a sofa, his head slipping toward the floor. Along the bottom of the image run four portraits of no-less-good-looking subjects taken in palatial surroundings. Soliloquy I (1998) is one of the most famous works by celebrated British photographer Sam Taylor-Wood (1967-) and a perfect example of what since the 1970s has been known as art photography.
Taylor-Wood’s piece occupies the central space in Fotografía contemporánea en la Colección Telefónica (Contemporary photography in the Telefónica Collection) now on at the Telefónica Foundation’s Madrid headquarters. The archive of 101 images was first shown in public a decade ago, but now visitors are getting a new look at 50 of them, all created between 1973 and 2006. All the most significant names in international photography from the last three decades are here: Marina Abramovic, Helena Almeida, John Coplans, Miriam Bäckström, James Casebere, Willie Doherty, Stan Douglas, Paul Graham, Zhang Huan, Jürgen Klauke, Perejaume, Salla Tykkä… But it is the German and American photographers who dominate.
Curator Ramón Esparza has assembled a tour around the Düsseldorf School, represented by the Bechers, Thomas Strüth and Andreas Gursky; the American postmodernism of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall and Richard Price; and the more eclectic positions deriving from these two dominant currents.
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