The first solo exhibition outside of Europe of Jacques Sonck's work will be presented at L. Parker Stephenson Gallery in New York City. Sonck (b. 1949) has been making portraits since the mid 1970s of people he encounters on the streets and in rural areas of his native Belgium.
The subjects in Sonck's photographs vary in age, size, gender and style. They face the camera alone, in pairs or in groups of three. They are often presented in a manner referencing classical composition, yet they always remain approachable, even familiar.
While the images from Sonck's 40-years of portraits hint at the influences of August Sander and Diane Arbus, they are subtle and multi-layered belying first appearances. His focus on individuals as well as relationships among them is done with tenderness, humor, poetry and respect. Sonck presents the uniqueness of each individual and in doing so puts into question the very meaning of an "archetype".
Sonck's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Photography, Antwerp; the Museum of Photography, Charleroi; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Media Museum, Bradford; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris among other institutions. The Gallery's presentation of Sonck's photographs coincides with a large solo exhibition (curated by our partner gallery, Fifty One Fine Art) being held in the coastal town of Ostend, Belgium. A catalog, Jacques Sonck: Encounters, has been published to accompany the Belgian exhibition and will be available at the gallery.