Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America


The photographs that form the exhibition depict corporate America between 1977-80, mostly in Los Angeles and the Mountain West. Unlike many of the other photographers of the 1970s who primarily photographed outdoors, Ressler brought the “New Topographics” aesthetic inside, to survey the environments that lay within. There, she found signifiers of the new American economy at every turn – symbols of class, gender and racial hierarchies. Her 35mm camera recorded the wall hangings, furniture styles and various totems of success that surround the rich and powerful. Visualized to emphasize cool geometric sterility, these photographs critique the underlying social structures enabling wealth and power.

Susan Ressler is a renowned artist, author, and educator who has been making social documentary photographs for more than forty years. She is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowships, and is currently Professor Emerita, Purdue University. Ressler continues to make photographs that critique consumer culture and other socially relevant issues that shape the world, as we know it today.

In his in-depth contextual essay in Ressler’s book, award-winning author Mark Rice writes that Ressler’s images “provide a glimpse inside a rising economic order as they reveal the reception rooms and inner sancta of premier corporate office spaces. They were made at a pivotal point both in the postindustrial shifts of the American economy and in American photography, when a younger generation of photographers grappled with questions of aesthetics and epistemologies. By bringing these photos to audiences now, Ressler provides viewers new ways of understanding the worlds of photography and American corporate culture as they intersected in her lens during the decade that brought us ‘modern life.'”

Susan Ressler
Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel (858) 456-5620
josephbellows.com

System Development Corporation, Santa Monica  from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980

System Development Corporation, Santa Monica from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Honeywell, El Segundo, California  from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980

Honeywell, El Segundo, California from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

The Capital Group Inc, Los Angeles  from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980

The Capital Group Inc, Los Angeles from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Riding High  from American Business Interiors  1977-78

Riding High from American Business Interiors 1977-78 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Lawyer  from American Business Interiors  1977-78

Lawyer from American Business Interiors 1977-78 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America

Atlantic Richfield, Los Angeles  from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980

Atlantic Richfield, Los Angeles from the Los Angeles Documentary Project, 1980 © Susan Ressler – Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America


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