Rosalind Fox Solomon (b 1930 Highland Park, Ill.) is an artist based in New York City.
She enters closed circles and takes risks based on her personal experience and artistic practice. As a result, her unflinching gaze provokes strong emotion. She interprets and photographs where she travels and is influenced by the obsessions and anxieties that travel with her.
In 2019, she was the recipient of the International Center of Photography Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Museum of Modern Art in 1986 exhibited, Rosalind Solomon, Ritual. Her work is in the collections of over 50 museums around the world including MoMA, the Los Angeles County Museum, Museo de Arte de Lima, Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Rijks Museum, Amsterdam, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Fox Solomon graduated from Goucher College. She married, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised two children.
At the age of 38, after a career in international exchange, she began photographing in Tennessee and Alabama. During occasional visits to New York City, Solomon met with Lisette Model, who critiqued her photographs and guided her. Model told her that she had unique vision and encouraged her to devote her life to photography.
Over a period of 50 years, the artist has photographed in the southern United States and also worked abroad. She responds to human vulnerability and the struggle for survival. She examines life conditioned by race, religion and ethnicity. In Belfast and Belgrade she thought about ethnic strife. In Poland, she photographed, thinking about the Holocaust. She photographed the wounded of Hanoi and Phnom Penh; in South Africa, she confronted apartheid. She participated in the project, This Place, a global art project that explored the complexity of Israel and the West Bank, she photographed the rituals of Christian pilgrims and made portraits of Israelis, Palestinians and Africans.
In 1987, when hundreds of young men and women dying with AIDS were demonized by society; often ostracized by their own families, Fox Solomon felt affinity with them. (Her son was living with a progressive kidney disease.) She began making portraits of individuals with AIDS, hoping that her pictures might help to remove the stigma attached to those who were sick and dying. Sixty-five of the resulting pictures were mounted for the exhibit, Portraits in the Time of AIDS at the Grey Gallery of New York University. A selection of the original large-scale prints shown in 2013 at Bruce Silverstein gallery in New York City, were on view in 2015 at Paris Photo, mounted in the Salon d’Honneur at the Grand Palais
The Lucie Foundation gave her an award in 2016 for her work in portraiture.
Steidl published Chapalingas in 2003 and Polish Shadow in 2006. MACK has released three of her books: she presented THEM in 2014, on stage at SVA, accompanied by the cellist, Sam Im. Bruce Silverstein Gallery exhibited her photographs from Got to go (MACK 2016), with Scintillation, a related audio-visual piece incorporating her voice over and excerpts from Jason Eckard’s Subject. In 2018, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, mounted a major gallery show concurrent with MACK’s release of her book, Liberty Theater.
During the 2019 expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art, Rosalind Fox Solomon was invited to capture the moment through her eyes. In “Picturing MoMA,” she made portraits of conservators, curators, guards, construction workers, tech and video teams. Channeling her curiosity, she ventured through the hidden hallways, warehouses, and labs that help MoMA run, to tell a story about a pivotal moment in the institution’s history.
Portrait by Jonno Rattman