BIOGRAPHY

Leo Rubinfien first came to prominence as part of the circle of artist-photographers who investigated new color techniques and materials in the 1970s. His first solo exhibition was held at Castelli Graphics, New York, in 1981, and he has since had solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome. Among his principal bodies of work are A Map of The East, (published by David R. Godine and Thames & Hudson), which explores the character and idiosyncrasies of Japan, China and Southeast Asia; and Wounded Cities (published as a book by Steidl in 2008), which explores the “mental wounds” that were left by the terror attacks in New York in 2001, and other attacks in cities around the world.

 


Rubinfien is also an active writer, and has published numerous extended essays on major photographers of the 20th century. He contributed a memoir, “Colors of Daylight,” to Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980 (Hatje Cantz, 2010) and produced a long personal and historical essay for Wounded Cities. From 2001–2004, he served as guest co-curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of the work of Shomei Tomatsu and was lead-author of Shomei Tomatsu / Skin of the Nation (Yale University Press, 2004). From 2010-2013 he guest-curated the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's retrospective of Garry Winogrand, which appeared at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2013 and will travel to Washington, New York, Paris and Madrid in 2014-2015.

 

Collections:
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson
Cincinnati Art Museum
Cleveland Museum of Art
Colby College
Cooley Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University
Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard University
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The Jewish Museum, New York
Krannert Art Museum, Univ. of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Rhode Island School of Design
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Seattle Art Museum
Stanford University Art Museum
Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
Tsukuba Museum of Photography, Japan
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Art Museum
Whitney Museum of American Art
Yale University Art Gallery

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2015
Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
2014
Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
2013
Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Rome
2011
Art Academy of Cincinnati
Yale University Art Gallery
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University
2010
Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Kurenboh, Tokyo
2009
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
2008
Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C
2001
Robert Mann Gallery, New York
1995
Artists' Loft & Gallery, Galveston, Texas
1994
Robert Mann Gallery, New York
Cleveland Museum of Art
Seattle Art Museum
1993
Seibu Art Forum, Sezon Museum, Tokyo
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1987
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
1984
Philadelphia College of Art
1982
Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
1981
Castelli Uptown Gallery, New York

 

 

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2010
Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980- Cincinnati Museum of Art
Packer Collegiate Institute
Princeton University Art Museum
2007
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
2005
Art & Recovery Conference / Exhibition, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York
Edward Thorp Gallery, New York
Gulbenkian Cultural Center, Paris, and Gallery Chiado 8, Lisbon
2003
Defying Gravity, North Carolina Museum of Art
Gallery Amelia, Tokyo
Eugénio de Almeida Foundation, Evora, Portugal
2002
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
2001
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Photography Study Center)
2000
Picturing MediaMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York
A Prova de AguaBelem Cultural Center, Lisbon
1999
Cooley Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, Oregon
1998
Stanford University Art Museum
1989
New Directors, New FilmsMuseum of Modern Art, New York
1986-1988
Laurence Miller Gallery, New York 
1985
Krannert Art Museum, Univ. of Illinois
1984
Color in the StreetCalifornia Museum of Photography, Riverside
Light Gallery, New York  
Recent AcquisitionsMuseum of Modern Art, New York
New York, Paris, Tokyo, Tsukuba Museum of Photography, Japan
1982
Color as FormCorcoran Gallery of Art, Washington
Arteder, Museum of Graphic Arts, Bilbao, Spain
LichtbildnisseRheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn
Recent AcquisitionsSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art
University of Rochester, NY 
1981
Castelli Uptown Gallery, New York
Robert Frank ForwardFraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Int'l. Museum of Photography, Geo. Eastman House, Rochester NY
International Center of Photography, New York
1980
Likely StoriesCastelli Uptown Gallery, New York
1978
After the FactCarpenter Center, Harvard University
1974
California LandscapesOakland Museum, California

 

Selected Publications:
Rubinfien, Leo.  New Turns in Old Roads. Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, 2014
Rubinfien, Leo. Wounded Cities. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2008
Rubinfien, Leo. A Map of the East. Boston: D.R. Godine, 1992