Biography

Robert Polidori’s atmospheric photographs of interiors altered by the passage of time and the people who have lived in them are investigations into the psychological implications of the human habitat. He has shot all over the world: decaying mansions in the formerly splendid metropolis of Havana, the colonial architecture of Goa, India; Beirut’s courtyards showing traces of war; the devastation after the Chernobyl disaster; and urban dwellings in China and Dubai among other countries. In 2006, he was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to photograph New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.

Polidori’s career as a fine-art photographer began in the early 1980s when he gained permission to document the restoration of the Palace of Versailles. Since then, he has returned to the palace several times to take more pictures, and in every one, his conception of rooms as metaphors and vessels of memory is evident. He produces his interiors by means of a single long exposure in natural lighting. His tonally rich and seductive photographs are the product of a view camera, long hours waiting for the right light, and careful contemplation of the camera angle. Polidori uses large-format sheet film, which he believes produces superior images to digital photography.

Robert Polidori won the World Press Award in 1998 and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography in 1999 and 2000. He has published eleven books and his work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

The World We Live In
Ayala Museum, Manila
The World We Live In
February 17 – March 27, 2016
Robert Polidori
Hong Kong
Robert Polidori
Ars Memorativa September 15 – October 16, 2011
Robert Polidori
Publication
Robert Polidori
Ars Memorativa
Manila
Museum Exhibition
Manila
The World We Live In at Ayala Museum February 17, 2016
Philippine Tatler
Press
Philippine Tatler
All the World’s a Stage February 2016

Five iconic photographers will exhibit their most memorable works at the Ayala Museum.

Blouin Artinfo/Modern Painters
Press
Blouin Artinfo/Modern Painters
500 Best Galleries Worldwide July 2013

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has been named one of the top galleries in the world by Blouin Artinfo and Modern Painters magazine.

Pipeline
Press
Pipeline
Gillman Barracks: A Type of Odyssey March 2013

While packing the usual stars, including Cartier-Bresson, Burtynsky, Hirst, Liebovitz and Polidori, the show tries also to speak to the Southeast Asian region via an ambitious sound installation by the American Taylor Kuffner.

The New York Times
Press
The New York Times
Singapore Recasts Itself as Newest Asian Art Hub October 2012

For decades Singapore has concentrated on developing its reputation as a global financial center, a focus that only recently expanded to include its cultural growth as well.

International Herald Tribune
Press
International Herald Tribune
Former army barracks becomes centerpiece of city-state's cultural plan October 2012
Surface Asia
Press
Surface Asia
Moving Pictures

Gallerist Sundaram Tagore goes behind the camera for his first feature film.

NY Arts Magazine
Press
NY Arts Magazine
Five World-Renowned Photographers Point their Lenses at India JANUARY 2012

For centuries India has held a grip on the Western imagination. Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s exhibition at this year’s India Art Fair in New Delhi (January 26 to 29) traces the country’s influence on a group of notable photographers.

Kee X
Press
Kee X
Leaving The Room DECEMBER 2011

Award-winning photographer Robert Polidori recently showed his powerful images of the interiors of rooms as altered by the passages of time in Hong Kong for the first time.

the pocket arts guide
Press
the pocket arts guide
Sundaram Tagore: Tradition and Transcendence OCTOBER 2011

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has supported Fine Art Asia since the fair started in 2006. It has branches in Hong Kong, New York and Beverley Hills. The gallery specialises in artwork that interweaves the modern, the cultural and the abstract.

Sunday Morning Post
Press
Sunday Morning Post
Still Life But Outdoors OCTOBER 2011

Robert Polidori takes extraordinarily beautiful photographs of interiors that are not, nessarily, beautiful. His images aren't about architecture - what he's interested in is how people take buildings and transform them into habitats.

Time Out Hong Kong
Press
Time Out Hong Kong
Interview Robert Polidori SEPTEMBER 2011

Internationally renowned for his large-scale photography of ruins and deserted spaces, Robert Polidori likes to recall his defining influence: Frances Yates' The Art of memory, which he came across in 1971.

Paroles
Press
Paroles
Robert Polidori: Versailles or the Art of Memory SEPTEMBER 2011

Why wouldn’t the walls have recorded and layered, one on top of the other, all the emotional vibes of the rooms’ successive occupants and visitors? That is the question that has obsessed photographer Robert Polidori for over twenty years, and that makes his photographs of interiors and exteriors so moving and haunting, long after we have seen them.

Art Collection +Design
Press
Art Collection +Design
Interview of Sundaram Tagore Gallery Establisher SEPTEMBER 2011

Established in 2000 in New York and with branches in Beverly Hills and Hong Kong, Sundaram Tagore Gallery was the first international gallery to open in Hong Kong.

CNN
Press
CNN
Robert Polidori photographs Hong Kong's 'rational planning' SEPTMEBR 2011

Canadian-born photographer Robert Polidori hasn’t taken a vacation in 25 years. He’s been too busy carting his large-format camera around the world to document the aftermath of events like the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Hurricane Katrina and the Lebanese Civil War.

The Wall Street Journal
Press
The Wall Street Journal
Sundaram Tagore Focuses on Hong Kong MAY 2011

At the time, Mr. Tagore was one of the first international gallery owners to open a space in the city. Since then several foreign galleries have followed, including Gagosian Gallery and Ben Brown Fine Arts. “Hong Kong has become an important artistic center,” said Mr. Tagore. “There is an audience here that has a voracious appetite for art.”

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Press
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Robert Polidori Exhibition MAY 2009

Why wouldn’t the walls have recorded and layered, one on top of the other, all the emotional vibes of the rooms’ successive occupants and visitors? That is the question that has obsessed photographer Robert Polidori for over twenty years, and that makes his photographs of interiors and exteriors so moving and haunting, long after we have seen them.

New York Sun
Press
New York Sun
Bits and Pieces of a Lavish Palace MAY 2008

Robert Polidori, the token photographer among the savants, insisted that photography was set by physics.

Private
Press
Private
Robert Polidori | After The Flood June 2007

After the great success of the world premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Polidori brings to Venice the touching and paradoxical allure of the devastation left behind in New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Artnews
Press
Artnews
Seeing Life in Empty Rooms MARCH 2007

Robert Polidori's haunting photographs if interiors and buildings reveal the everyday lives left behind in Chernobyl, Havana, New Orleans, and Versailles by Hilarie M. Sheets.

Bomb Magazine
Press
Bomb Magazine
Robert Polidori (Interview, Photography) SPRING 2007

I met Robert Polidori through a photograph he had taken of the Versailles restoration. It captivated me. Seeing so many layers of history in one image was astonishing. So was being spurred to imagine Versailles as a real dwelling defined by the remnants of its inhabitants, and all the changes in history they and it had undergone.

New York Review of Books
Press
New York Review of Books
After Katrina November 2006

The show concerns the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s ruinous pass over New Orleans on August 29, 2005, as recorded by the distinguished architectural photographer Robert Polidori in four visits between September 2005 and April 2006; it is being attended, to judge from the day this viewer was present, by more youthful African-Americans than usually make their way into the Met.

Financial Times
Press
Financial Times
CRUELTY OF THE STORM EXPOSED OCTOBER 2006

Robert Polidori’s astonishing After the Flood at Flowers East is one of the finest sustained series of photographs for years and that very rare thing, a set of pictures in which intellectual doubt and graphical certainty combine to something approaching perfection.

The New York Times
Press
The New York Times
What’s Wrong With This Picture? SEPTEMBER 2006

After Hurricane Katrina, Robert Polidori went to New Orleans, where he lived years ago, to shoot photographs of the devastation for The New Yorker. He stayed longer than first planned, then went back again and again, for weeks, taking hundreds of pictures with a large-format camera that produced wide, superbly detailed color photographs.

ARTINFO
Press
ARTINFO
Robert Polidori SEPTEMBER 2006

To commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, ARTINFO has brought back our AI Interview with photographer Robert Polidori, first published in Sept. 2006, on the eve of the opening of his exhibition "New Orleans after the Flood" at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Toronto Star
Press
Toronto Star
A Canadian witness to New Orleans’ demise SEPTEMBER 2006

Make that two ex-Montrealers. One is Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the
eighth son of a French Canadian pioneer who founded New Orleans in 1718.
The other is Robert Polidori, the New Yorker staff photographer born in Montreal
in 1951, who rushed to the city a year ago this month after Hurricane Katrina
forced half a million people to flee their homes. Le Moyne made plans for a
great city. Polidori gives witness to its demise.

Art in America
Press
Art in America
Robert Polidori at Pace/MacGill DECEMBER 2003

This image is among the large-format chromogenic prints mounted on Plexiglas that were part of Robert Polidori's recent exhibition, and among the many published in a new volume, Zones of Exclusion, Pripyat and Chernobyl (Gottingen, Germany, Steidl, 2003).

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