milan

Linda Fregni Nagler, Contemplation of Death, 2014, selenium-toned gelatin silver print on telex paper, 47 1/2 × 41". From the series “Pour commander à l’air” (To Lead the Air), 2012–.

Linda Fregni Nagler

Monica De Cardenas | Milan

Linda Fregni Nagler, Contemplation of Death, 2014, selenium-toned gelatin silver print on telex paper, 47 1/2 × 41". From the series “Pour commander à l’air” (To Lead the Air), 2012–.

“My work is based on the analysis, recouping and recontextualising of pre-existent images,” Linda Fregni Nagler writes in her 2013 monograph The Hidden Mother. Its subject is a homonymous body of work for which the Italian artist focused her gaze on the iconographic conventions found in a certain genre of early daguerreotypes, tintypes, and cartes de visite. All these images depict young children held by their mothers, who remain hidden, outside the frame, or shrouded in blankets, steadying their babies during the slow exposure times required by early photographic technologies. Fregni Nagler built an expansive archive of roughly one thousand of these pictures by persistently seeking out and acquiring them from diverse sources over the past few years. She then arranged the images into a narrative sequence that un-
covers, through iteration, themes of alienation, tropes of portraiture,

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