Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #1, 2012, pigment print, 26 x 63".

Arne Svenson

Julie Saul Gallery

Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #1, 2012, pigment print, 26 x 63".

Arne Svenson’s photographic series “The Neighbors,” 2012–13, offers glimpses of people going about their lives at home. Among the dozen large-scale images that were on view here, arranged singly and in pairs, are domestic scenes both quotidian and strange: of a woman holding a pair of red-handled scissors; a couple eating breakfast and reading; a man stretched out to sleep on a sofa, a large toy giraffe lurking in the shadows. A sense of calm, almost a sweetness, pervades the photos. The furnishings look upscale, the apartments clean and well-appointed. We are kept, however, at a distance: The faces of the subjects are never shown in their entirety or, in most cases, at all. Most of the figures are seen from behind, or in shadow, or with heads cropped out of the frame.

The sense of remove is deliberate, or at least intrinsic to the project: Svenson took these photos from an adjacent

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.