Jackie Nickerson | Terrain, An Atypical View on Farming

Soft muted colours, abstraction, sculptural configurations, farm equipment as quasi readymades. Not exactly what you’d expect from a photo essay on agribusiness and that is exactly the point.  Terrain is meant to be atypical.

© Jackie Nickerson. Terrain, Oscar, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.


A meeting of two worlds, of art and photo documentation, this latest series by Jackie Nickerson intentionally masks the individual but will that stratagem unmask the issues? While social documentary historically brings faces to the fore, Nickerson’s faceless sculptures intend to disrupt.  In an age where shock value still commands, this delicate gambit undertakes to make a case that not all serious issues need to shock us to attention. Take a deeper look at Terrain, with insights from the photographer in our recent article Jackie Nickerson | Our Daily Bread.

 Makanyara, 2013



“Terrain is very visually specific and concentrates on a particular kind of representation. The lack of personal identity in the photographs is a very deliberate question mark. I want to challenge the viewer to ask, ‘what is this about?’ We’re becoming deaf to political messages like global warming, sustainable development and labor issues because of crisis fatigue. I believe that we have an indelible link to the earth but we’ve begun to undervalue it—even forget about it.”

Jackie Nickerson





Cephias, 2013




Innocent, 2013




Patricia, 2012




Wander, 2013




Arthur #, 2012




Orbert, 2012




Lovemore, 2013.



TERRAIN is currently on show in London at Brancolini Grimaldi ( Nov. 19 – Dec 31) and following will be exhibited in New York at Jack Shainman Gallery (Jan. 16 – Feb. 20. 2014).


Jackie Nickerson (b. Boston, USA, 1960) makes photographs that examine identity, and the physical and psychological effects of working within specific environments. Her work is held in many important private and public collections and has been exhibited in venues which include the Santa Barbara Museum of Art ; Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; National Portrait Gallery, London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Her latest book ‘Terrain’was released in November 2013 by TF Editores. She is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and Brancolini Grimaldi in London.


Written by Missla Libsekal.


All images courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery. All rights reserved.


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