Some people once boldly predicted that photography would displace painting altogether. Others asked whether a photograph could be art in the first place. As it turned out, these two forms of expression have had a stimulating effect on one another during their long years of coexistence. The Image Regained illustrates, with works by outstanding contemporary artists and photographers, the intensity and consequences of this exchange over the past twenty years. Work by Amy Adler, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Rineke Dijkstra, Gilbert & George, Andreas Gursky, Amedeo Martegani, Elizabeth Peyton, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, and others reveals that, more frequently than not, the encounter between painting and photography has rocked our very understanding of the image. Painting, under the influence of photography, is now finding its way back from the abstract to the figurative, whereas photography, in the 80s, claimed for itself the traditional painterly themes of portraiture and landscape. The breaking with conventional modes of perception has by now become programmatic. Paintings, for instance, now explore the properties of photography–the effects of light and shadow as well as blurred outlines for simulating different foci–and are hung next to photographs that suggest a painterly mode of creation. As varied as the artistic directions documented here may be, one commitment remains common: the endeavour to look long and close at our world, and to make the viewer stop and think.