Sixty this year, the MacArthur “Genius” grant-winning photographer An-My Lê is finally getting a United States retrospective, which will bring together more than 100 of her works. Her subjects are the grand, old genres—wars, history, and landscapes (usually fraught ones)—but she shoots with such a preternatural sense for quiet, offhand moments that they never appear foreboding. In her images, a bevy of huge tanks cruise gently through a glorious open plain, or soldiers rest under intricate camouflage netting, invisible at first glance. Sometimes she goes behind the scenes of movies being made on such topics, examining the packaging of conflicts. Leonard Cohen sang about being “guided by the beauty of our weapons”; Lê sees that terrible beauty, too, but she looks upon it with incisive skepticism—a witness well-suited to these times. —Andrew Russeth
An-My Lê, Film Set, ‘Free State of Jones,’ Battle of Corinth, Bush Louisiana (detail), 2015. Courtesy the artist and STXfilms. © An-My Lê.