Photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia (American, b.1951) is acclaimed for his evocative photographs of figures and street scenes, which combine both documentary and conceptual elements of photography. Born in Hartford, CT, he studied photography at the University of Hartford in the 1970s, and later at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and at Yale University. At Yale, diCorcia photographed friends and family in shots that appear completely candid, but in actuality involved hours of staging and elaborate lighting techniques to blur the lines between the everyday and the fabricated. In addition to pursuing his own work, diCorcia worked as a commercial photographer throughout the 1980s, creating spreads for publications including Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Between 1990 and 1992, he spent his time in Los Angeles, working on his Hollywood series, in which the artist paid prostitutes, hustlers, and drug addicts to pose for him in his characteristically staged, orchestrated images, often with ephemeral lighting; diCorcia titled each work with the name of his subject, as well as how much he paid them to sit for the photograph. In later works, he photographed crowds on the streets of cities, from New York and Paris to Tokyo, placing flashbulbs at several places around a site and then waiting for the ideal moment to capture a photograph of an unknowing group, again mixing artificiality and theatricality with the spontaneous and candid. In recent series, he has focused on subjects ranging from pole dancers to New York’s urban metropolis, examining constructions of identity, reality, and artifice in his work. DiCorcia is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors, and has held solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, and the Reina Sofía in Madrid. He currently lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1951
Born in Hartford, CT
1975
Diploma, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1976
Postgraduate Certificate, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1979
MFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Lives and works in New York

Exhibitions

2013
Photographs 1975-2012, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (solo)
Husters, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
East of Eden, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2012
Across the Province: Bearing Witness, Kamloops Art Gallery, Canada
I Spy: Photography and the Theater of the Street, 1938-2010, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA
Performing for the Camera, Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix, USA
2011
Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
L’Insoutenable Légèreté de l’être/The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Yvon Lambert, New York, USA
The Truth is Not in the Mirror: Photography and a Constructed Identity, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, USA (catalogue)
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: ELEVEN, David Zwirner, New York, USA (catalogue)
Phillip-Lorca diCorcia: Roid, Sprüth Magers, London, England (solo)
After the Gold Rush: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
The New York Times Magazine Photographs, Eglise Sainte-Anne, Arles, France
No fashion please, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria
Real Venice, Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy, part of the 54th Venice Biennale
Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, USA
Stories of Material Life/Historias de al vida material, Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain
Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, USA
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, USA
2010
8th Gwangju Biennale: 10,000 Lives, Gwangju, South Korea (catalogue)
Atopia: Art and the City in the 21st Century, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (catalogue)
Bearing Witness: Works from the Collection, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Collecting Biennials, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Connecticut, D’Amelio Terras, New York, USA
Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, Tate Modern, London, England (catalogue)
In the Vernacular, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Mean Streets, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia, Spain
Realism – The Adventure of Reality. Courbet, Hopper, Gursky, Kunsthalle Emden, Emden, Germany
Ruptures and Continuities: Photography Made after 1960 from the MFAH Collection, FotoFest 2010 Biennial, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio (catalogue)
The Talent Show, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
Thrice Upon A Time: 66 Artists from the Collection, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
UltraMegaLore, Modemuseum Hasselt, Hasselt, Belgium
Tears of Eros, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
2009
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Family and Friends, Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow, Russia (catalogue)
The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography. Works from the Time/LIFE Picture Collection, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, USA
Bad Habits, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Mexico: Expected/Unexpected, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Canary Islands
Familiar Feelings. On the Boston Group, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Thousand, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2008
Baby. De ideale mens verbeeld 1840- heden, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
diCorcia - Epstein - Shore, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, USA (solo)
Photographie : détrônera la peinture’, Musée de la photographie, Chalonsur-Saône, France (solo)
2007
Mapping the City, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Early Works, galerie Monika Sprüth philomene Magers, Munich, Germany (solo)
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA (solo)
2006
Lucky 13 & Hustlers, FOAM Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
Die Jugend von heute, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
2005
Willing Suspension of Disbelief, Wilkinson Gallery, London, England
Lucky 13, PaceMcGill, New York, USA (solo)
Hollywood and new series, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France (solo)
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Gagosian Gallery, London, England (solo)
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Monika Sprüth & Philomene Magers Gallery, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Galleria Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, Italy (solo)
2004
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Magasin 3, Stockholm Kunsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
Galleria Monica de Cardenas, Milan, Italy (solo)
Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (solo)
Monica DeCardenas, Milan, Italy
Helga de Alvear, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France (solo)
A storybook life, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England
Fundacion Telefonica, PhotoEspaña, Madrid, Spain
2003
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England (solo)
2002
Barbara Krakow, Boston, USA (solo)
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Livornostraat, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Monica De Cardenas, Milan, Italy (solo)
2001
PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Galerie Monika Sprüth Philomene Magers, Munich, Germany (solo)
Gagosian Gallery, London, England (solo)
Settings and Players: Theatrical Ambiguity in American Photography, White Cube2, London, England
Work for hire, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France (solo)
Galerie Spruth Monika & Philomene Magers, Munich, Germany (solo)
Galerie PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
2000
Open City: Street Photographs since 1950, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England
Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (solo)
Lawing Gallery, Houston, USA (solo)
Galeria OMR, Mexico City, Mexico (solo)
Galerie PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
1999
PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France (solo)
Art Space Ginza, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1998
Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Streetwork, Galerie Klemens Gasser und Tanja Grunert, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Hollywood Pictures, 1990-92, PaceWildenstein, Los Angeles, USA (solo)