WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Jan. 11, 2016) – Businesswoman, philanthropist, and Norton supporter Beth Rudin DeWoody is a collector of contemporary art who is as voracious as she is thoughtful. The exhibition, Still/Moving: Photographs and Video Art from the DeWoody Collection, on view Feb. 6 through May 15, 2016, comprises more than 200 works from her collection of photography- and video- based art of more than 3,000 works. And that is part of a wide-ranging contemporary art collection of more than an estimated 10,000 works she has discerningly gathered since the 1970s.
DeWoody embodies the definition of what it means to be a “patron of the arts.” She is the consummate collector. Her tastes are her own; her paths are self-defined; her interests and understanding of the works she is drawn to are constantly evolving; and her passion is unflagging. She is a courageous supporter of unacknowledged talents, an advocate for artists and inexhaustible art sleuth.
While her overall collection is primarily contemporary, when it comes to photographs, works from the late 19th century share wall space with those from the 21st. Early 20th-century fashion and celebrity photography, which have formed the basis for much of the most inventive ideas of portraiture and narrative, are an important part of the collection. Works that straddle the worlds of architecture and conceptual art are evident in images by German husband-and-wife team Bernd and Hilla Becher as well as in the ground-breaking photography book, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, by West Coast artist Ed Ruscha. The collection also includes many portraits and self-portraits by photographers, including British fashion photographer Cecil Beaton, American Cindy Sherman, and Chinese conceptual artist Tseng Kwong Chi. DeWoody’s tastes also include classic imagery from photographers Irving Penn, Andre Kertesz, Edward Weston, and Richard Avedon, yet also embrace the more-nuanced use of contemporary photo imagery by artists including Marco Brambilia, Tim Hailand, and Susan Anderson.
The artists to whom DeWoody is drawn are those who take the greatest visual and intellectual risks; their art, in turn, demands a commensurate amount of risk from the viewer. The collection is populated by works that challenge the viewer on intellectual, emotional, and visceral levels. Overall, these selections trace the visual, intellectual, and conceptual underpinnings that have intrigued photographers and video artists from the beginning of both media: one still, one moving.