Exhibition: ‘The Last Days of W’ by Alec Soth at Gagosian Gallery, New York

Exhibition dates: 20th January – 7th March 2009


Alec Soth. 'Civic Fest, Minneapolis, MN (Presidential office)' 2008


Alec Soth (American, b. 1969)
Civic Fest, Minneapolis, MN (Presidential office)



Another fantastic group of Americurbana from this wonderful photographer!

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Many thankx to Gagosian Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



“Henri Cartier-Bresson famously said, “The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks.” But I don’t think the world would have been a better place if these photographers had headed off to a war zone. The question is whether you can be a political photographer while you photograph rocks. My pictures don’t have a specific social commentary but I think they have social and political meaning.”

Alec Soth on the Gagosian Gallery website 2009



Alec Soth. 'Dynell, Bemidji, MN (Girl in store)' 2007


Alec Soth (American, b. 1969)
Dynell, Bemidji, MN (Girl in store)


Alec Soth. 'Josh, Joelton, Tennessee' 2004


Alec Soth (American, b. 1969)
Josh, Joelton, Tennessee



Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present The Last Days of W., colour photographs taken by Alec Soth between 2000 and 2008.

Although originally conceived without explicit political intent, in retrospect Soth considers this selected body of work, which spans both terms of George W. Bush’s presidency, to represent “a panoramic look at a country exhausted by its catastrophic leadership.” Soth’s earlier series such as Sleeping by the Mississippi, Niagara, and Dog Days, Bogotá – all subjective narratives containing disenfranchised figures and decaying landscapes – laid the conceptual groundwork for The Last Days of W. It provides a wry commentary on the adverse effects of the national administration, perhaps best exemplified by an unwittingly ironic remark that Bush made in 2000: “I think we can agree, the past is over.”

Following in the humanist tradition established by the great chroniclers of the American experience such as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Stephen Shore, Soth captures diverse images of a country disillusioned with, and deceived by, its own identity, from mothers of marines serving in Iraq to teenage mothers in the Louisiana Bayou; from religious propaganda in the American workplace to the mortgage crisis in Stockton, CA. His incisive depiction of contemporary American reality confronts the ideals romanticised in the American Dream with the hastening decline of the American Empire.

Text from the Gagosian Gallery website 2009


Alec Soth. 'The Last Days of W' installation view at Gagosian Gallery


The Last Days of W installation view at Gagosian Gallery


Alec Soth. 'Home Environment, Billings, MT' 2008


Alec Soth (American, b. 1969)
Home Environment, Billings, MT


Alec Soth. 'Republican National Convention, Saint Paul, MN' 2008


Alec Soth (American, b. 1969)
Republican National Convention, Saint Paul, MN



Gagosian Gallery
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Phone: 212.744.2313

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm

Gagosian Gallery website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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