Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture will be hosting an exhibition of Oscar Gustave Rejlander’s work, The Two Ways of Life (1857), to coincide with Portfolio Review Russia, which will also be held at Garage.
Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875) was part of a generation of radical, young photographers working in the 19th century. Rejlander was also an important pioneer of photomontage, a technique that was later embraced by artists as well as photographers. Photomontage has been used by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century. It is a stylistic element that has been utilised by movements that include the Russian avant-garde, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Pop Art, and that continues to be popular among many contemporary artists.
The Two Ways of Life is an early photomontage of thirty prints, based on Raphael’s School of Athens (1510-11), an allegory of vice and virtue. Typically Victorian, Rejlander’s work shows two apprentices choosing opposite paths in life: a path of immediate pleasure and sin contrasted to a path of education, trade and charity. The work will be shown together with a slideshow of photomontages created by other artists during the course of the 20th century.