Gregory Crewdson: Palpable Landscapes

“It was deep in the forests of Becket, Massachusetts that I finally felt darkness lift, experienced in a reconnection with my artist process, and moved into a period of renewal and intense creative productivity.” – Gregory Crewdson

Crewdson (b. 1962) has been internationally acclaimed for his unique style – combining documentary voyeurism with a lustrous vision of contemporary life. Taking domestic settings as a focus, he is a master of conceptual narratives played out within the environs of the everyday. Cathedral of the Pines (2013-2014) is no different: evoking palpable tension in his glacial scenes, the artist transforms the rural town of Becket into a spectral land charged with undetermined human emotion. Each image is steeped with isolation and despondence – complex figures stand transfixed by their unresolved motives. A wintry landscape envelopes living rooms and outdoor sheds, perpetuating the characters’ closed mental states whilst impregnating ordinary objects with mournful lighting.

Hopperesque in their documentation, the locations retrieve part of Crewdson’s childhood, recovering the very forest trail referred to in the opening quotation. Standing as the “most personal” of the artist’s series, these 31 colossal images are displayed at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, in a time where their conceptual themes resonate internationally: an anxious imagination reflective of the surrounding American climate. This is also the practitioner’s first UK solo show in a public institution; the large-scale digital pigment prints a part of a legendary cryptic vision, drenched in emotive lighting and softly spun scenarios.

Opens 23 June, The Photographers’ Gallery, London. For more information:

The series features in Aesthetica’s 2016 December / January issue. For more information or to buy a copy:

1. Gregory Crewdson, The Shed. 2013. Digital pigment print. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.