EDITED BY CONOR RISCH
Do you have an interesting photography project? Contact section editor Conor Risch at
PDN, 770 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, N Y 10003 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos © ChArlotte DumAs/Courtesy of Julie sAul GAllery, Ne w york/GAlerie pAul ANDriesse, Amster DAm
CHARLOTTE DUMAS’S NEW EXHIBITION AT
THE CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART DEPICTS
THE FUNERARY HORSES THAT WORK AT
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY THROUGH
FORMAL PORTRAITS THAT CHALLENGE HOW
WE THINK ABOUT ANIMALS AND THEIR
PLACE AS SUBJECTS IN CONTEMPORARY ART.
BY CONOR RISCH
WHILE STUDYING AT the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, an art school in Amsterdam, Charlotte Dumas
was discouraged from making photographs of animals by instructors who believed that animals were
not worthy subjects for contemporary artists. They reacted to her work by saying: “Nice, but now you
have to move on to do something more serious,” she recalls.
After she graduated she was awarded a two-year studio residency at Rijksakademie in Rotterdam,
the Netherlands, which supports artists from all over the world working in all mediums. There she was
given space and resources to work “without the judgment of people looking over my shoulder,” she
says. The ability to follow her instincts and “to do whatever I liked, free of the concept that it had to
sell or how it was going to be seen” by the contemporary art world proved pivotal.
In her second year she made a series of four portraits of Rotterdam police horses and showed them
Above: Buck, one of the horses working in Arlington National Cemetery. Charlotte Dumas made her portraits of the
Arlington horses using ambient stable light and multi-second exposures.