For more than forty years, Olivia Parker’s poetic and alluring photographs have transformed the everyday and made the familiar strange. In deceptively simple still lives and complex, dreamlike constructions that incorporate a rich variety of found objects, her photographs create unexpected juxtapositions that provoke uncertainty and delight. Parker’s longstanding fascination with flux and change extends to her most recent series, a powerful meditation on the devastating loss of her husband to Alzheimer’s disease. This volume, the definitive study of Parker’s career, includes curator Sarah Kennel’s detailed artistic biography and poet and essayist Rachel Hadas’s reflections on art’s ability to offer solace amidst grief. More than one hundred beautifully illustrated works, many of which are published here for the first time, are accompanied by Parker’s lyrical reflections on her art and process.
The publication accompanies the exhibition Order of Imagination: The Photographs of Olivia Parker on view at the Peabody Essex Museum from July 13 to November 11, 2019.
Formerly The Byrne Family Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum, Sarah Kennel is the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.