How big can a photograph be? From postcards to giant billboards, they are almost any dimension, but what happens when they are very same scale as their subject matter? A photo of a bus the size of a bus?  An actual size image of Muhammed Ali’s fist? Actual Size! Photography at Life Scale is a playful yet philosophical exhibition that offers viewers more than 20 diverse images that share the same dimensions as life itself. Conceived especially for ICP’s unique double-height gallery, it is a rethinking of the fundamental qualities of this perplexing and elastic medium. 

Works by Jeff Wall, Ace Lehner, Laura Letinsky, Kija Lucas, Aspen Mays, Tanya Marcuse and others share the walls with anonymous posters, magazine spreads and book covers. 

Exhibitions Highlights

Click here to view select images from the exhibition

About the Curator

David Campany is a curator, writer, and managing director of programs at the International Center of Photography, New York. His books include On Photographs (2020), A Handful of Dust (2015), Art and Photography (2003), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2011), Walker Evans: The Magazine Work (2014), and Photography and Cinema (2008).


Image: Tanya Marcuse, Woven Nº 30, 2018, 62 x 160 inches. © Tanya Marcuse




Tanya Marcuse Woven Nº 30, 2018. © Tanya Marcuse
Manuel Franquelo, Things in a Room (25 yrs), 2013. © Manuel Franquelo, Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
Schindly Photo, HAIL STORM, Sunbury PA., June 18, 1910, 1910.
Kija Lucas Objects to Remember You By: An Index of Sentiment, Vitrine No. 11, 2014-2021. © Kija Lucas
Aspen Mays, Dodging Tools, 2013. © Aspen Mays, Courtesy the artist and Higher Pictures Generation

Special Thanks

Exhibitions at ICP are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.