Denise De La Rue

Matador
June 14 - 21, 2008

Denise De La Rue - Matador
DENISE DE LA RUE
Jose Mauricio Moret, Mexico City, Mexico, 2005
Analog print on color glossy paper
35-3/8 x 41-3/4 inches (90 x 106 cm)
Ed. of 3
or
49-1/4 x 58-1/4 inches (125 x 148 cm)
Ed. of 3






Book signing: Saturday, June 21st, from 2 to 4 pm


Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of photographs by Denise De La Rue. This is her first exhibition with the gallery.

De La Rue's Matador series offers a glimpse into the complex social and moral implications of modern bullfighting, a cultural cornerstone of the Hispanic world. She portrays the mythic bullfighters of Mexico and Spain immediately after the fight, often bloodied. Her large- scale photographs dissect the constructed façade of the fight to provoke new perceptions of familiar images.

Removed from the immediacy of the ring, De La Rue places the matadors in settings that are reminiscent of Baroque portrait painting. Museums and mirrored dressing rooms draped with tapestries are backdrops depicting religious scenes. De La Rue uses her primarily male subjects to examine the accepted tenets of the bullfighting culture and to expose the dualities embedded in this historic tradition. She explores the dual identity of these heroes of the past, part ballet dancer - beautiful in their ornate dress and elegant dance in the ring; part warrior - locked in mortal combat with the toro bravo. At the same time, she asks viewers to consider both the lionization of the fighters in Hispanic cultures and the pervasive disapproval of the sport by the rest of the world. Matador expands on her previous series profiling Mexican wrestlers and continues her exploration of the many identities and personas that shape our world.

Denise De La Rue was born in Mexico City in 1972. She is a graduate of Art History from the Centro de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City and studied at the Escuela Activa de Fotografía, Mexico City, and the Academia delle Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. She was also a participant in the group show "Mextilo", at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in 2005. She lives and works in Mexico City.

An artist's book, MATADOR, accompanies the exhibition.

For more information please contact the gallery.