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Close Look: Eric Rhein at Institute 193 in Lexington

Eric Rhein, Rain (self-portrait), 1993. All photographs courtesy the artist and Institute 193.

A series of photographs, taken over the course of almost two decades, serves as the focus of the exhibition. They were taken during a period roughly parallel to Rhein’s diagnosis with HIV in 1987— after which he encountered compromised health and near death—through to his experience of a renewed sense of vitality after life-saving drugs were introduced in the mid-90s. The images highlight the role of intimacy and care as survival tactics in their depiction of one person’s response to a global and ongoing crisis.

from the accompanying exhibition text
Eric Rhein, William-Gaze (William Weichert, Martha’s Vineyard), 1992.
Eric Rhein, William-Silhouette (William Weichert, Martha’s Vineyard), 1992.
Eric Rhein, Negative Space (Jeffery Albanesi), 1993.
Eric Rhein, Life Altering Spencer (Spencer Cox 1968-2012) (from Leaves, an AIDS Memorial), 2013.
Eric Rhein, Frank the Visionkeeper (Frank Moore 1956-2002)(from Leaves, an AIDS Memorial), 2013.
Eric Rhein, Multicultural Martin (Martin Wong)(from Leaves, an AIDS Memorial), 2018.
Eric Rhein, Untitled (from Hospital Drawings), 1994.
Eric Rhein, Untitled (from Hospital Drawings), 1994.
Eric Rhein, Untitled (from Hospital Drawings), 1994.
Eric Rhein, River (self-portrait with Russell Sharon, Delaware Water Gap), 1994.
Eric Rhein, Kinsmen (self-portrait, the MacDowell Colony), 1996.
Eric Rhein, Visitation (Fire Island), 2012.
Eric Rhein, Lifeline (self-portrait with Ken Davis), 1996.
Eric Rhein, Ken – Sleep (Ken Davis), 1996.
Eric Rhein, Embrace 1 (self-portrait with Jeffery Albanesi), 1993.

Eric Rhein’s Lifelines closed this week at Institute 193 in Lexington, Kentucky. The first full length artist book of Rhein’s work will be published by Institute 193 Press later this year.

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