Los Angeles

View of “Annie Leibovitz,” 2019.

Annie Leibovitz

Hauser & Wirth | Los Angeles

Annie Leibovitz’s “The Early Years, 1970–1983: Archive Project No. 1” at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles began with a wall-size timeline anchoring us firmly amid the total noise of this thirteen-year stretch. The timeline traced a capricious selection of personal and pop-cultural tidbits with a relatively sympathetic focus on the American spirit and zeitgeist, its aspirations and rock-star veneer, with occasional detours toward political injustices and small and large tragedies. Two vast galleries were divided into seven rooms by freestanding panels, to which more than four thousand images, mostly black-and-white “cheap copies” generated by an Epson printer, were loosely pushpinned, flirting with a grid made of string. The informality of the space implied a process laid bare, or at least restaged and illustrated. The intentionally overwhelming number of images made the show less about

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