Zoe Strauss

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zoe Strauss
Born April 1, 1970
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Nationality American
Known for Photography
Website www.zoestrauss.com

Zoe Strauss (born 1970) is an American photographer.[1] She uses Philadelphia as a primary setting and subject for her work. Strauss is a nominee member of Magnum Photos.[2]


Strauss was born in 1970 in Philadelphia.[3] Her father died when she was 5. She was the first member of her immediate family to graduate from high school. For her 30th birthday she was given a camera and started photographing in the city's marginal neighborhoods.[4] She is a photo-based installation artist who uses Philadelphia as a primary setting and subject for her work. Strauss typically photographs overlooked (or purposefully avoided) details with a humanist perspective and eye for composure.[5]

In 1995, Strauss started the Philadelphia Public Art Project, a one-woman organization whose mission is to give the citizens of Philadelphia access to art in their everyday lives.[6] Strauss calls the Project an "epic narrative" of her own neighborhood.[6] "When I started shooting, it was as if somewhere hidden in my head I had been waiting for this," she has said.[6]

Between 2000 and 2011, Strauss's photographic work culminated in a yearly "Under I-95" show which took place beneath the Interstate in South Philadelphia.[3] She displayed her photographs on concrete pillars under the highway and sold them for $5 each.[1]

Strauss received a Seedling Award from the Leeway Foundation in 2002, a Pew Fellowship in 2005, and in 2006 her work was included in the Whitney Biennial.[3] She also had a solo exhibition of her photographs, entitled Ramp Project: Zoe Strauss, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.[7] In 2007 Strauss was named a 2007 USA Gund Fellow and granted $50,000 by United States Artists.[citation needed]

She frequently photographs near her grandparents' former home at 16th and Susquehanna.[8] Her photographs include shuttered buildings, empty parking lots and vacant meeting halls in South Philadelphia. Strauss says her work is “a narrative about the beauty and difficulty of everyday life."[9]

Her book America was published in 2008 by AMMO Books.[10]

In July 2012 Strauss was elected into the Magnum Photos agency as a nominee.[2]

10 Years Project[edit]

For a decade between 2001 and 2010, Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss (b. 1970) showed her photographic works once a year in a public space beneath an I-95 highway overpass in South Philadelphia. In these annual one-day exhibitions, Strauss mounted her color photographs to the concrete bridge supports and viewers could buy photocopies for five dollars. Through portraits and documents of houses and signage, Strauss looked unflinchingly at the economic struggles and hardscrabble lives of residents in her own community and other parts of the United States. She describes her work as "an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life." Strauss, a self-taught photographer and political activist, sees her work as a type of social intervention, and she has often used billboards and public meetings as venues. This exhibition is a mid-career retrospective and the first critical assessment of her decade-long project.

Billboard Project[edit]

The Billboard Project is a series of 54 billboards featuring photographs by Zoe Strauss, installed as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition Zoe Strauss: Ten Years. Installed throughout Philadelphia, the project is loosely structured around the themes of the Odyssey, presenting an epic story about journey and homecoming. For ten years Strauss installed her annual I-95 exhibition in South Philadelphia which she describes as an “epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life.” The Billboard Project represents another telling of that narrative. Displaying photographs from Strauss’s travels around the country including Grand Isle Beach in the Gulf of Mexico, Venice Beach, CA, Rosedale, MS, and Fairbanks, AK, the Billboard Project is designed for both residents and visitors, encouraging each to construct their own narrative and journey around these images. In addition to underscoring the themes of journey and homecoming, the billboards will also touch upon the subjects of migration and immigration, fortune, hospitality, conflict and resolution, decision-making and mystery. Special thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor and Krain Outdoor Advertising for their generous donation of the billboards to extend the reach of the exhibition into the city of Philadelphia. Extra special thanks to Gary Turner.


Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]



Strauss' work is held in the following permanent public collection:

Grants and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Zoe Strauss: 10 Years", International Center of Photography, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Eichel, Molly. "Zoe Strauss accepted into Magnum Photos", philly.com, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Zoe Strauss", 2013 Carnegie International, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Magnum Photos Photographer Profile: Zoe Strauss", Magnum Photos, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  5. ^ Smith, Roberta (2012-07-12), "Art In Review Zoe Strauss: ‘10 Years, a Slideshow’". The New York Times
  6. ^ a b c "Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Zoe Strauss", California Institute of the Arts, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Ramp Project: Zoe Strauss", Institute of Contemporary Art, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  8. ^ Heller, Karen (2006-02-15), Page A01, “Suddenly, Her Images Clicked”. Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
  9. ^ Sozanski, Edward J (2004-04-30), Page W25, "Taking Images of the streets back to their birthplace. Catch it While you can: Photos Alfresco Returns". The Philadelphia Inquirer
  10. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090319170331/http://www.ammobooks.com/new/books/america/. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009. Retrieved November 22, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Hudson, Suzanne. "Zoe Strauss", Artforum, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Zoe Strauss: Works in Progress at Peeler Art Center", Depauw Art Center, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  13. ^ [1], The Fader, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Zoe Strauss: Works for Columbus, OH", Wexner Center for the Arts, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Exhibitions - Zoe Strauss: 10 Years", Philadelphia Museum of Art, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Zoe Strauss - Exhibitions - Bruce Silverstein", Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Arcadia University Art Gallery: Works on Paper 2004". Gargoyle.arcadia.edu. 2004-03-28. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  18. ^ "Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night", Whitney Museum of American Art, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  19. ^ Follow Us. "Museums/Exhibits :: Philadelphia City Paper. 25 Years of Independent Journalism". Citypaper.net. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  20. ^ "This is America. Visies op de Amerikaanse droom". Centraal Museum. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  21. ^ "History Keeps Me Awake at Night A Genealogy of David Wojnarowicz - David Wojanrowicz | Press | PPOW Gallery". www.ppowgallery.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  22. ^ "L'ete Photographique de Lectoure 2008". lacritique. September 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  23. ^ (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20110719133013/http://wonderlandonline.dk/media/was.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "On the Scene: Jason Lazarus, Wolfgang Plöger, Zoe Strauss", Art Institute of Chicago, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  25. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20101019110833/http://www.list.co.uk/event/20099312-molly-landreth-and-zoe-strauss-queer-brighton/. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Artists: Zoe Strauss", 2013 Carnegie International, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  27. ^ "Collections: Zoe Strauss", Philadelphia Museum of Art, Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  28. ^ "Zoe Strauss SA '02", Leeway Foundation, Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Zoe Strauss", CalArts, Retrieved 6 October 2014.

External links[edit]