Skip to content
Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Open from Tuesday to
Sunday 12 pm → 6 pm

Admission always free
7 Jun 24until8 Sep 24

Zoe Leonard

View from Below

Alvin Balkind Gallery

Zoe Leonard, View from below, Geoffrey Beene Fashion Show, 1990. © Zoe Leonard. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne and Hauser & Wirth.

Across a career spanning more than four decades, New York-based artist Zoe Leonard has honed a singular artistic vision, coupling a precise engagement with the politics of image-making with acute, often poetic observations of daily life. Addressing themes that include gender and sexuality, mourning, displacement and migration, and the urban landscape, amongst others, her work in photography, sculpture and installation effects a complex consideration of the act of looking and the role of photographic culture in ordering our worlds.

At the Contemporary Art Gallery, Leonard presents View from Below, a suite of photographs taken at fashion shows in the early 1990s. Produced at a moment when Leonard was engaged closely with the politics of gender, representation and display, these images are part of a larger nexus of works that saw the artist probing the mechanisms that produce and regulate the body. In this series of photographs, Leonard presents multiple and divergent perspectives on the runway, surveying a shifting field of looks among and between models, spectators and photographers, including herself. Registering gazes that are by turns voyeuristic, objectifying and self-possessed, these images compel a broad set of questions around desire, power, performance, and subjectivity.


Zoe Leonard has exhibited widely since the late 1980s. Her work has been featured in a number of landmark exhibitions, including Documenta IX, Documenta XII, and the 1993, 1997 and 2014 Whitney Biennials. She has been the subject of solo shows at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2018), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018), MoMA, New York (2015), and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2007–08), among other institutions. Leonard was a finalist for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2010 and was awarded The Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Prize in 2014 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020. Her works are held in many public institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; Pinault Collection, Venice; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Zoe Leonard: View from Below is generously supported by Claudia Beck.