List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum



Zoe Leonard


2 december, 2008 - 16 february, 2009 /
Sabatini Building, Floor 3

The work of photographer Zoe Leonard (New York, USA, 1961) is exhibited for the first time at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Leonard's work is based on observation and memory, through the portrait of maps and anatomical models, shop windows, museums and shops from his neighbourhood. The artist rejects photography as a neutral document, in favour of what she calls a "subjective truth". Leonard distances herself from the protocols and conventions of photography, even using printing processes that are virtually obsolete. She works with the images for a long time, she copies them into different sizes and on different types of paper, but never retouches them, accepting the imperfections that may occur in their developing, such as dust or scratches.

Leonard began taking photos at a young age, especially the city of New York. The artist shows her reflection in a television shop window in Brooklyn or advertising billboards. The usual format has a frontal perspective and a symmetry that gives a static image, exuding peace and tranquillity. Leonard’s artistic side becomes known after the exhibition at Documenta 9 exhibition in Kassel in 1992.

This retrospective gives expression to Leonard's interest of daily contrasts: natural compared to urban and what has been manufactured compared to the original. The artist spent time alone in Alaska and seems to admire the capacity of mutual adaptability between nature and civilization, as is evident in her series on trees that have bars bolted onto their trunks. The axis of Leonard’s career and of this exhibition is photography as the definition of a modern society.

The exhibition offers a representative selection of the New York artist’s photographic work since the Seventies to date, including her monumental work Analogue (1998-2007) which was exhibited at Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007 and became part of the Dia Art Foundation exhibition at the Hispanic Society in New York. For this project the artist spent two months analysing nearly 12,000 images that reveal her unique photographic style. The project is organised according to a conceptual criteria and not chronologically. The groups of images show the effects of globalisation through photographs of stores in New York and other major cities.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Fotomuseum Winterthur in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Urs Stahel
Exhibition Tour: 

Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich (December 1, 2007 - February 17, 2008); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (December 4, 2009 - March 7, 2010)



Current exhibitions

  • Bruce Conner. SPIDER LADY HOUSE, 1959. Wood, nylon, ice skate, doll parts, rope, jewelry, feathers, animal hair, corks, wallpaper and paper on wood. Oakland Museum of California Collection. Donation from the Collectors Gallery and the National Endowment for the Arts ©Bruce Conner, VEGAP, Madrid, 2016
    February 22 - May 22, 2017

    Bruce Conner

    It’s All True

  • Ramses Younan. Untitled, 1939. Oil on canvas
    February 14 - May 28, 2017

    Art et Liberté

    Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938–1948)

  • Lothar Baumgarten. Photography. The ship is going under, the ice is breaking through, 2001
    November 3, 2016 - April 16, 2017

    Lothar Baumgarten

    The ship is going under, the ice is breaking through

  • Daniel Buren, Les Écrits (1965-1990), Bourdeaux: CAPC musée d’art contemporain, 1991. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Photo: Centre for Artists’ Publications, Weserburg, Bremen. © DB – VEGAP, Madrid, 2016
    September 21, 2016 – May 22, 2017
    Program: Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación
    Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación