Jeffery Wolin
Little Stevie / Water Balloon, 1988

14.625 in H x 17.875 in W
Catalogue Number
Current Location

About the Artist

Jeffery Wolin

CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American
Light Work RelationshipArtist-in-Residence, 1988
Light Work PublicationsContact Sheet 61
Contact Sheet 97


Jeffrey A. Wolin is Ruth N. Halls Professor Emeritus of Photography at Indiana University. Wolin’s photographs have been exhibited in over 100 exhibitions in the US and Europe, including solo shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, International Center of Photography in New York, George Eastman Museum in Rochester and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and group exhibitions at MoMA, Whitney Museum, and LA County Museum of Art.


His photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Cleveland Museum of Art; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Art Institute of Chicago; New York Public Library; George Eastman Museum, Rochester; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Bibliotèque Nationale de France, Paris; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Wolin’s work is included in dozens of books including six monographs: Written in Memory: Portraits of the Holocaust, Chronicle Books, San Francisco; Inconvenient Stories: Vietnam War Veterans, Umbrage Editions, New York; Pigeon Hill: Then & Now, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg & Berlin. Other publications include Swimmers, Aperture, New York; Waterproof, Editions Stemmle, Zurich; An American Century of Photography, Abrams, New York; Searching for Memory, Basic Books, New York; Common Ground, Merrell, London & New York; and Mémoire des Camps, Editions Marval, Paris.


Wolin is the recipient of two Visual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago.


Circa 2018





Outside of Bloomington, Indiana there are limestone quarries that supplied the stone for the construction of three-quarters of all the stone buildings in the United States including the Flatiron Building, Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. As the Empire State Building grew almost seven floors a month the quarries grew wider and deeper at a dizzying rate, the look of American cities and the relationship of the individual to the environment changed forever.

The story of the working class stone cutters forming the building blocks for the temples of corporate America is a tale ripe with many political implications and overworked dialectics. Jeffrey Wolin tells the story of the stonecutters in a clear and precise photographic essay. He mixes romance with sweat, contrasts natures power with human ingenuity and produced a group of images that match the poetic heroics of his subjects. Wolin finalized the project in 1985 with the publication of Stone Country, a book with words by Scott Sanders.

During his residency at Light Work from June 1-30, 1988 Wolin worked on a new series of pictures that combine his curiosity about his surroundings and his interest in the written word. In this recent work he takes pictures he made in a housing project outside Bloomington and combines them with short titles, factual information or autobiographical narratives. Writing directly on the prints in silver tones that play off the surface of the images, Wolin breaks away from the constraints of the external landscape around Bloomington, to combine personal narrative with cultural observations. This work is in a formative stage and he is still experimenting with the proportions of the prints and their final presentation. Wolin possesses a keen understanding of the human condition and the sensitive skills of a patient narrator that are sure to make this new work larger than the sum of its parts.

Jeffrey Wolin lives in Bloomington, Indiana where he teaches photography at the University of Indiana. Additional support for Wolin's residency was provided by Robert Shanebrook and the Eastman Kodak Company.

Jeffrey Hoone (c)1988