chronicles: massive exhibition of JR's work opens at the brooklyn museum
 

chronicles: massive exhibition of JR's work opens at the brooklyn museum

french street artist & photographer JR has opened ‘chronicles’, his largest exhibition to date in north america, at the brooklyn museum on october 4, 2019. the multimedia exhibition traces JR’s career from his teenage days in 2001, when he started documenting his graffiti and street art across paris, to his large-scale architectural interventions in cities worldwide, ending with his most recent murals that are digitally collaged.


the chronicles of new york city, 2018-19 (detail)
image © JR-art.net

 

 

the exhibition at the brooklyn museum, which takes up over 20,000 square feet of the great hall, has been curated by sharon matt atkins — director of exhibitions and strategic initiatives — and drew sawyer, phillip leonian and edith rosenbaum leonian — curator of photography at the brooklyn museum. ‘over the two decades, JR has emerged as one of the most powerful storytellers of our time,’ says drew sawyer. ‘working at the intersection of photography, social engagement, and street art, his collaborative public projects have allowed participants to choose how stye would like to be presented in both their communities and global media.’


the chronicles of clichy-montfermeil, 2017 (detail) | duratrans prints, lightbox
image © JR-art.net

 

 

named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2018 and the 2011 TED prize winner, JR has expanded the meaning of public art through his ambitious projects. works include ‘portraits of a generation’ (2004), ‘women are heroes’ (2008-9), ‘inside out’ (2011- ongoing), ‘faces places’ (2017) and more, which allow the public to broaden their understanding of critical social issues — from women’s rights, to immigration and gun control. JR is best known for his collaborations with communities around the world by taking individual portraits, reproducing them at a monumental scale, and wheat pasting them — sometimes illegally — in nearby public spaces.


the gun chronicles, 2018 (installation view), la maison europeenne de la photographie
image © JR-art.net

 

 

the centerpiece of the exhibition is ‘the chronicles of new york city’, a new epic mural inspired by the stories of more than one thousand new yorkers. in the summer of 2018, JR and his team spent a month roaming all five boroughs, parking their 53-foot-long trailer truck in numerous locations and capturing photographs of passersby who wished to participate. through his powerful storytelling abilities and willingness to question traditional power structures, JR breaks boundaries and re-invents the medium of photography in the twenty first century.


28.milimetres, portrait d’une generation, braquage, ladj ly vu par JR, les bosquets montfermeil, 2004 (installation image)
black and white photograph
image © JR-art.net

 

 

in two corners of the museum’s expansive gallery spaces, visitors can find kinetic installations portraying the series ‘women are heroes‘ in rio de janeiro, as well as his artwork at the US-mexico border. each installation comprises four layers of automated screens that are timed to rise one after another, composing the complete image at the end of the cycle. ‘there is a story behind the image,’ JR says. ‘in my work, for example, an image is just the first layer of the work. the context, the people behind it, and the time it took to create it give the actual frame of the artwork’.


installation view of JR’s portraits displayed in glass vitrines at the brooklyn museum exhibition 
image © designboom

 

 

JR continues to honor the voices of everyday people and demonstrate his ongoing commitment to community, collaboration, and civic discourse. ‘art is not supposed to change the world, but to change perceptions,’ JR says. ‘art can change the way we see the world.’


image © designboom


28 milimetres, portrait d’une generation: araba, 2004 | gelatin silver photograph
image © JR-art.net


28 milimetres, portrait d’une generation: araba | wheat-pasted poster on building
image © JR-art.net


image © designboom


image © designboom


28 milimetres, women are heroes, pont louis-philippe-pont marie side by night, with barge, france, 2009
image © JR-art.net


28 milimetres, women are heroes, action dan la favela morro da providencia, favela de jour, rio de janerio, 2008
image © JR-art.net


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom

 

 

 

project info: 

 

artist: JR

exhibition: JR: chronicles

museum: brooklyn museum 

location: brooklyn, new york

duration: october 4 2019 – may 3, 2020

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