Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves at Science Museum, London

Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves. Photo, Kate Elliott. Courtesy, Science Museum

LondonArt & Culture

Making Connections

Alec Soth brings four acclaimed photographic series together for first major UK exhibition...

“Making up for lost time” — that’s how Alec Soth views his highly anticipated London exhibition, in which the Minnesota photographer brings four of his most important series together for his first major UK exhibition. Soth’s Gathered Leaves show at the Science Museum’s Media Space gallery is composed of Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006), Broken Manual (2010), and his most recent project Songbook (2014). Going beyond the standard exhibition format, the event sees the artist investigate the relationship between images published in books and those presented in the gallery setting.

Broken Manual

2008_02zL0189, from Broken Manual © Alec Soth

Sleeping by the Mississippi took shape from a series of road trips along the famed river, and Soth’s wanderlust was one of the deciding factors in his decision to switch from painting to photography. He attended an inspirational lecture by photographer Joel Sternfeld in which the speaker told of his nomadic career touring in a camper van, and immediately felt an affinity with the genre.

The Mississippi series is heavy with a mournful air — something that continues to characterise Soth’s images a decade later. In Songbook, we see an elegy for a world which is slipping away, a world in which people strive to maintain meaningful human connection in an increasingly isolated social landscape.

Gathered Leaves remains on show at the Science Museum until 28 March next year, before moving to Bradford’s National Media Museum.

@sciencemuseum

Ash Wednesday

Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2000, from Sleeping by the Mississippi © Alec Soth

Misty

Misty, 2005, from Niagara © Alec Soth

Songbook

Near San Antonio, Texas, from Songbook © Alec Soth

Liberty Cheer All-Stars

Bree. Liberty Cheer All-Stars. Corsicana, Texas, 2013, from Songbook © Alec Soth

Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves at Science Museum, London
Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves at Science Museum, London

Alec Soth, Gathered Leaves. Photography, Kate Elliott. Courtesy, Science Museum

Crazy Legs Saloon. Watertown

Crazy Legs Saloon. Watertown, New York, from Songbook © Alec Soth

Kaaterskill Falls

Near Kaaterskill Falls, New York,
from Songbook © Alec Soth

Cadillac Motel

Cadillac Motel, 2005,
from Niagara © Alec Soth

Sleeping by the Mississippi

Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002,
from Sleeping by the Mississippi © Alec Soth

Two Towels

Two Towels, 2004,
from Niagara © Alec Soth

Denver, Colorado

Dave and Trish. Denver, Colorado, 2014,
from Songbook © Alec Soth

Niagara

Melissa, 2005,
from Niagara © Alec Soth

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