Photography Creative Ideas

Gillian Laub’s Divided House Is Still Standing. What About Yours?

Critic’s Notebook

“Family Matters” at the ICP captures the inevitability of families fractured over politics.

Gillian Laub, ldquo;Chappaqua backyard,rdquo; 2000, from her series at the International Center of Photography. As the years go by one feels a growing intimacy with Laubrsquo;s large family mdash; their wins and losses spread bare.


Gillian Laub, “Chappaqua backyard,” 2000, from her series at the International Center of Photography. As the years go by one feels a growing intimacy with Laub’s large family — their wins and losses spread bare. Credit... Gillian Laub

Dec. 24, 2021

Someone has left in a hurry. The signs are there in the photograph: the open drawers, the improperly rolled tissue paper, the white electric cable peeking out from underneath the counter. The walls and floors are covered with marble — reflecting light, intensifying the room’s emptiness. Through the window, outside, tall slim trees give the house a sense of scale and location — it is easy to imagine that this is an outsize property in an area far from where everyday people live.

Shot in 2015 after her grandmother died, “Emptied House” is the most haunting photograph in Gillian Laub’s exhibition “Family Matters,” showing through Jan. 10 at the International Center of Photography in Lower Manhattan.