Mary McCartney Comes to Sotheby’s London
Sotheby’s is delighted to present Can we Have a Moment? Three Decades of Photographs in Britain, a selling exhibition of photographs by Mary McCartney. Featuring over thirty works spanning the artist’s 30-year career, this exhibition is the first major survey of McCartney’s work in the UK.
“I love to observe life, to watch what is going on around me. I’m a people watcher. I appreciate nature. I suppose what I am passionate about is finding unexpected moments and catching them on camera. They can be simple moments – a single image, yet by just looking, it can unfold a whole narrative that I would have never expected at the time.”
Since the beginning of her photographic practice in the 1990s, McCartney has focused on capturing rare moments of unguarded, emotionally charged intimacy. Her photographs are powerful personal records of people and places close to her. Arresting in their spontaneity, they tell stories about her immediate environment and own life, revealing a deeply emotive visual diary of friendship, love and self-discovery.
For this exhibition, McCartney has transformed Sotheby’s St George Street Gallery into an overall installation. By selecting some of her earlier as well as more recent portraits, still-lifes and landscapes in various sizes and arranging them non-linearly across the walls, McCartney injects a certain playfulness into the grand exhibition space. When viewed together, her photographs form an impactful personal album that offers a glimpse into the artist’s intimate world. This is also reflected in the title of the exhibition, which is taken from McCartney’s life motto, “can we have a moment?”, and invites viewers to pause and appreciate moments of beauty in the everyday.
Mary McCartney was born in London in 1969.
Her first feature documentary as director, If These Walls Could Sing, was released in December 2022 and was nominated for a Critics Choice Award.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Moment of Affection, Château La Coste, France (2022); The White Horse, The Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco (2018); Monochrome Colour, The Wola Museum, Warsaw (2019); From The Print Draw, A Gallery For Fine Photography, New Orleans (2019); Undone, Izzy Gallery, Toronto (2017); Monochrome Colour, De Pury De Pury, London (2014); Developing, The Lowry, Manchester (2013); From Where I Stand, Tres Hombres Art, Halmstad (2012), Contributed, Berlin (2011), Michael Hoppen Gallery, London (2010), Staley-Wise Gallery, New York (2010) and National Portrait Gallery, London (2010).
Other recent group exhibitions include: Real Wild, Palo Gallery, New York (2022); Studio 7 by Cartier, Saatchi Gallery, London (2021); Off Pointe, Somerset House, London (2019) and Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2018); Mother Daughter, Fotografiska, Stockholm (2018) and Gagosian Gallery, New York (2015); Gay Icons, National Portrait Gallery, London (2009); British Style Observed, Natural History Museum, London (2008); Playing Dress Up, Goss-
Michael Foundation, Dallas (2007).
Her work is held in major private and public collections including: the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Paris.
Selected publications include: Feeding Creativity (Taschen, forthcoming 2023); From Where I Stand (Thames & Hudson, 2019); Paris Nude (HENI, 2019); The White Horse (Rizzoli International Publishing, 2018); Twelfth Night 15.12.13(HENI, 2016), Monochrome Color (GOST, 2016), From Where I Stand (Thames & Hudson 2010).
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