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Press Release

An Intimate Journey with the Chinese Gymnasts

May 23 2013 through July 6, 2013
Reception for the Artists: Thursday, March 23, 7 – 9 PM

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present “Endure: An Intimate Journey with the Chinese Gymnasts”, the first Los Angeles exhibition from contemporary photographers, Jonathan Anderson & Edwin Low.  The exhibition is comprised of large scale color photographs taken over a two year period documenting the elite gymnasts, their challenging training program, and the team’s training facilities in Beijing. 

Athletics, endurance, and competition have inspired Anderson & Low for over twenty years, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the duo was granted exclusive access to photograph the Chinese gymnasts.   Over the next two years, Anderson & Low would work to create a documentary series that reinvents traditional sport imagery.  Whereas conventional sport photography primarily focuses on the winning moment, or an instance of heartbreaking defeat—Anderson & Low’s images explore the mental and physical process of training itself, and the structure and discipline the young gymnasts endure. The images capture powerful moments of stillness and transcend into a study of the human condition in microcosm, an examination of the purest human emotions under intense pressure.  Although the images have a distinctly contemporary feel, athletics, training, and competition are perhaps the most ancient and earliest depicted themes. Anderson & Low’s images reference classic Greek and Roman forms, and the ancient ideal of the trained athlete.  Their photographs examine the tension between the athlete’s ideal and the very real limitations of the human body.

Although the title of the project, “Endure”, may initially evoke negative connotations of harsh training environments, Anderson & Low insist the goal of the project is to celebrate the extraordinary athletes they have spent years photographing alongside, and of which they remain in awe. Their images avoid scrutiny or judgment and instead convey the photographers’ feeling of respect and admiration towards the athletes’ strength, grace, and power.  This became evident to the photographers when they first witnessed the athletes training in their massive gymnasium in early 2009, “We experienced profound emotion, intimate and powerful, made all the more intense by this primal response being so unexpected.  It was, and still is, unforgettable; until that moment, we had not known that sport could still make us feel something so simple, as though it was the first time we have ever seen people train.” (ENDURE, Serindia Contemporary Publications, 2012)

Since 1990, Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low have been collaborating creatively as Anderson & Low. Their work has been exhibited internationally, and belongs to many public and private collections  including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Portrait Galleries (United Kingdom and Australia); Museum of Fine Art, Houston;  High Museum of Art, Atlanta, among many others. A limited edition book of “Endure” was recently released by Serindia Publications (2012).  Jonathan Anderson and Edwin Low live and work in London, United Kingdom.

Please contact the gallery for additional information and Press images.