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New book on the work of John Stezaker, ‘Double Shadow’.

In the most recent ‘Double Shadow’ collages the processes of splitting and doubling are used to reflect on the duplicitous figure of the uncanny: the doppelgänger, Janus and hermaphrodite figures.

The combination of silhouette contours reanimates these archetypal images from their most anodyne source.

The contours of the figures of masculinity and femininity, so sharply delineated in 1950s Hollywood images, are dissolved into strange and sometimes monstrous hybrids; uneasy pairings created in the intersection of shadows that seem to hover between worlds.

Inspired by the use of silhouettes in fin de siécle fairytale illustrations and early expressionist cinema, Stezaker claims to have “rediscovered the pleasures of drawing” in these works, “in the power of contour to delineate the edge between presence and absence and the imaginary and the real.”

Works from the ‘Double Shadow’ series by Stezaker were exhibited in ‘John Stezaker: Double Shadow’, 24 Feb-26 Mar 2022, The Approach, London and are currently on exhibition at Petzel, New York, 2023. 

The publication contains the following text: 

John Stezaker: Doubles and Shadows by Margaret Iversen 


Author: Margaret Iversen

Publisher: Walther Koenig

Language: English 

Softcover: 128 pages 

Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.25 x 0.5 inches 

ISBN: 9783753304021


About the artist

John Stezaker (b. 1949, Worcester, U.K.)

John Stezaker was born in England in 1949, and currently lives and works in London. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the 1960s, and has since taught at Central Saint Martins School of Art, Goldsmiths College, and the Royal College of Art.

Stezaker is one of the leading artists in modern photographic collage and appropriation. Employing vintage photographs, old Hollywood film stills, travel postcards and other printed matter, Stezaker creates seductive and fascinating small-format collages that bear qualities of Surrealism, Dada, and found art. In referring to the large compendium of images he has collected, Stezaker asserts that the images “find him,” not the other way around. With surgical-like precision, Stezaker excises, overlays and conjoins distinct images to create new personalities, landscapes and scenes.

In September 2012, he was awarded the Deutsche Börse photography prize. Stezaker’s work has been exhibited internationally since the 1990’s and is held in museum and public collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Frans Hals Museum, The Netherlands; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, among others.

Solo exhibitions include the National Portrait Gallery, London (2019); The Approach, London (2018); City Gallery of Wellington, New Zealand (2017); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2013); the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University, St. Louis (2012); and the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2011), among others.

His work has been exhibited in many group exhibitions internationally including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2019); Stedelijik Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong (2016); Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2014); Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (2012); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2008); the Tate Triennial, London (2006); and the 40th Venice Biennale in 1982, among many others.