Langer’s photographic language has been variously described as cinematic and poetic, haunting and romantic. Best known for his noir visions of contemporary urban life, Langer has photographed not only some of the world’s great cities, but intimate scenes as well, ranging from male and female nudes to inanimate objects captured in moments of lifelike feeling. Langer’s beautifully crafted images, rich with lush, black tones, strive to always capture the unanticipated or chance moment, layered with timeless drama and dynamism.
As Julia Dolan states in an essay published in Langer's latest book Twenty Years (Radius Books), “Langer pushes us, through the beauty of well-crafted imagery, to tangle with the tension that builds between life and death, and between an artist and his medium.”
American photographer Jason Langer is best known for his psychological and noirish visions of contemporary urban life. He has published two monographs: Secret City and Possession through Nazraeli Press which depict night and dusk scenes of various cities with “carefully crafted compositions reminiscent of the symbolist photographers, and swathes of meticulously printed deep black tones characteristic of the gelatin silver process…as much Hopper and Raymond Chandler as Steichen” (Bomb Magazine). Jason Langer’s most recent book, Twenty Years (Radius Books, 2015) pursues a solitary journey through the nocturnal streets and dimly lit rooms of a dream like world. Spanning 20 years of his career, this aptly titled book is the first survey of Langer’s work.
Over the past two decades Langer has developed a photographic language which has been described variously as “cinematic” and “poetic”, “contemplative” and “iconographic”, “haunting” and “romantic”. Langer has photographed not only some of the world’s great cities, but intimate scenes as well, ranging from male and female nudes to inanimate objects captured in moments of lifelike feeling. Langer’s beautifully crafted images, rich with lush, black tones, strive to always capture the unanticipated or chance moment, layered with timeless drama and dynamism.
Langer descends from a tradition of photographers—George Krause, Ralph Gibson, Roy deCarava, Bill Brandt, Matt Mahurin—who photograph what is physically happening in the world, but a world in which the unexpected appears for brief glimpses before returning to generally accepted social norms. Like these photographers, Langer's presence is felt in his images through his interpretation of what happens in front of the lens rather than any direction or manipulation of figures or events.
Winner of Palm Beach Photographic Centre’s 2006 Rising Star award, Langer is represented by Michael Shapiro (Westport, Connecticut), Michael Hoppen Gallery (London), Esther Woerdehoff (Paris), Charles A. Hartman, Fine Art (Portland, OR).
Langer’s work has appeared in numerous publications including American Photo, Black and White, Harpers, Life, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Photo Metro, Popular Photography, Time, and Vanity Fair. In addition, his work belongs to the permanent collections of Gap/Banana Republic, the JGS Foundation, Rutgers University, Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger, Yale University Art Gallery, and Zimmerli Art Museum.
Langer now lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.
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