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Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles

Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


Burk Uzzle, Tired, New Jersey, 1967. Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery

You may be forgiven for not having heard of Burk Uzzle, but once you’ve seen Steven Kasher Gallery's show of his black-and-white photographs from the 1960s through the 2000s (on view through July 31), you won't have any excuse for forgetting him.

Uzzle's career mirrors that of some of the best-known photographers of his generation, and yet his is not a household name. In 1962, at 23, he became LIFE's youngest ever contract photographer. Just five years later, he became a member of Magnum Photos. In the years since, he’s photographed some of the most important events of our times — the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Cambodian War — and built up an impressive collection of images that show America in all its splendor and strangeness. 

Burk Uzzle, Upside Down Tree, Century City, California, 1975. Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery

Like the best observers of this country, Uzzle displays an intuitive sensitivity to our national incongruities and harmonies. His subjects are classic Americana: beaches and parades, small towns and highways, a mix of the impossibly vast and the deeply local that gets at the heart of life here. Uzzle’s perspective combines the best qualities of those who’ve undertaken similar enterprises — the wit of Garry Winogrand, and the stylistic approach of New Topographics photographers like Robert Adams — while maintaining a certain Uzzle-ness that makes him entirely original. 

His sheer range of expression is striking. On one wall, you’ll find the dark irony of Football Team with Smokestacks, a wholesome scene complicated by a mysterious, looming darkness. Turn a corner and you’ll face the absurdity of Wow Cows, which fills the frame with fake cows standing in a field. Elsewhere, Uzzle’s images are a mix of melancholy, wonder, and pure aesthetic exploration.

Uzzle’s talent is undeniable, so it’s hard to explain, at 76, his relative obscurity. Hopefully, solo shows at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum and the Nasher Museum of Art next year will help put him in his proper place among the greats of American photography. 

— By Jordan G. Teicher  06/28/2015

MoMA Expands its New Photography Series


Ilit Azoulay, Shifting Degrees of Certainty

The Museum of Modern Art’s longstanding New Photography series is having its 30th anniversary in November, and the museum is using the occasion to expand and revamp the series, now a biannual exhibition. This year’s exhibition, which goes on view November 7, will include 19 artists and artist collectives from 14 countries. Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015, organized by Quentin Bajac, the Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography; Roxana Marcoci, senior curator; and Lucy Gallun, assistant curator in the department of photography, will explore what the curators call a “post-Internet reality” through various kinds of works, including still and moving images, zines, and sculpture. The international slate of artists includes: Ilit Azoulay, Zbyněk Baladrán, Lucas Blalock, Edson Chagas, Natalie Czech, DIS Collective, Katharina Gaenssler, David Hartt, Mishka Henner, David Horvitz, John Houck, Yuki Kimura, Anouk Kruithof, Basim Magdy, Katja Novitskova, Marina Pinsky, Lele Saveri, Indrė Šerpytytė, Lieko Shiga.

— By Jean Dykstra  06/25/2015

In Appreciation of Anne Wilkes Tucker


Richard Avedon, Dovima with Elephants, 1955. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

In honor of Anne Wilkes Tucker’s 39-year career with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, collectors, dealers, and artists from around the country have donated more than 150 works to the museum or made promised gifts. From June 23 to October 11, a selection of those works will be on display in the exhibition In Appreciation: Gifts in Honor of Anne Wilkes Tucker. The works on view include Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency, a Man Ray photomontage from 1926, Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants, and many others. Tucker, who retires June 30, has organized more than 40 exhibitions at the museum and written dozens of publications. 

 

— By Jean Dykstra  06/18/2015

Lucinda Bunnen

Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta


Lucinda Bunnen, Swing Set, 1964/2014. Courtesy Marcia Wood Gallery

Lucinda Bunnen has been a force on Atlanta’s art scene for decades—as both an artist and philanthropist. She is an avid collector of works by local and international artists, amassing a well-regarded collection and donating over 650 works to the High Museum of Art, where a gallery is named in her honor. Now 85, she is busier than ever. This show, titled Weathered Chromes and on view at Marcia Wood Gallery through June 20, is the third and final installment in a series called Lucinda’s World that has appeared in several Atlanta galleries this year. 

Bunnen has embraced changes in photography over the years, moving from a straight documentary style in both black and white and color to near abstractions of color and pattern, and now these “weathered chromes,” vibrant images that seem artificially colored or digitally enhanced, but aren’t. 

Weathered Chromes began as an accident, when two of Bunnen’s slides were affected by water damage that broke down the layers of emulsion while leaving a recognizable image. The intriguing results led Bunnen to experiment with intentional degradation of old chromes, leaving to the elements a selection of slides from six decades’ worth of work. Many of the photos were taken on Bunnen’s travels to Cuba, India, and Burkina Faso, as well as throughout the South. 

Lucinda Bunnen, Steeple Chase in the Rain, 2015. Courtesy Marcia Wood Gallery

The photos are obfuscated to varying degrees. The slides of Cloud and Ice are so degraded that there is no discernible subject in the resulting prints. Some—such as Swing Set, with its frothy starburst patterns, or Mother and Child, with two glowing figures—take on an almost mystical air. 

Bunnen’s deep reach into her personal archives must’ve provided a long walk down memory lane, and the results of her weathering process suggest the imperfection of memories, the hazy recollections that accumulate with time.

These works are about the physicality of photography—the physical, not digital, manipulation of images and photographic materials. Younger artists have made entire careers investigating these processes. Matthew Brandt, for one, shoots scenes and then uses materials from the site to process the images—a photo of a lake developed in water from that lake. Photojournalist Randy Taylor also began printing new images from negatives that were damaged when a storage facility housing decades of his work was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. 

The ability to turn a mishap into an opportunity, to see potential in failure, is what propels us forward. It is Bunnen’s curious mind and photographic agility—to roll with the punches and change with the times—that keeps her at the forefront of contemporary photography. 

 

— By Stephanie Cash  06/17/2015

To Feel Less Alone: Gay Block, A Portrait

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe


Gay Block, Untitled (Good Friends). Courtesy New Mexico Museum of Art

Text panels in the exhibition To Feel Less Alone: Gay Block, A Portrait -- on view at the New Mexico Museum of Art through July 26 – ask several questions, including: Can a portrait capture the essence of a complex person? Is a portrait a picture of the person in front of the camera or the person behind the camera? And, regarding Block’s diptychs: How does the presence of two different portraits change your interpretation of each image? Block has been asking such questions in her work for more than 40 years.

Gay Block, Trey in his Bedroom. Courtesy New Mexico Museum of Art

The nine diptychs and 33 single images on view provide a sampler of Block’s serial work over the decades. Among those are selections from Jews of Houston (1975), Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust (1980), Camp Girls (1981/2006), Clothed and Unclothed (1987), and Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed (1987/1994). Most affecting are the Holocaust images portraying individuals sharing everlasting memories of a life-changing event. Block’s portraits never feel taken at the expense of her subjects; her sitters appear fully aware of the moment, willing to be themselves even in the most deliberately posed situations. Indeed, one wonders if Block’s subjects pose themselves, as in Mother and Daughter, Dede and Bertha (1975), wherein each sit at opposite ends of the sofa like bookends, legs crossed, hands in their laps, staring unsmiling at the camera. If Block had suggested the sofa as the staging area the two women surely fell into familiar habits, both stiff in demeanor and not relating to each other at all. In the diptych Trey in His Bedroom (1978/2012), Block recaptures the character of her subject more than 30 years later seen propped upright on his bed by pillows and dressed similarly then and now in striped polo shirt and tennis shoes. The deadpan directness of these images has a kinship to the work of Diane Arbus, whose work was clearly inspirational to Block in the early 1970s. 

 

 

— By Douglas Fairfield  06/15/2015

David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, and Nan Goldin / Boston to New York

ClampArt, New York


Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in Bed, NYC. Courtesy ClampArt

Regionalism remains the easiest narrative we have to parse out our polyglot creative expression, despite the globalism of contemporary art. Culling three photographers, David Armstrong, Nan Goldin, and Mark Morrisroe, from that generation informally known as the Boston School--they all went to art school and met in Boston during the Seventies before relocating to New York in the late Seventies and early Eighties – this show at ClampArt through June 20 helps locate the shared sensibilities by which their diversities have found a degree of collectivity. 

Mark Morrisroe, Fascination (Jonathan). Courtesy ClampArt

At ClampArt, we can see how these constructs are basically reductive (excluded from the usual list are Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jack Pierson, and Stephen Tashjian, the latter two likely far too diverse in their practices to fit any such formula) and ultimately problematic when the similarities of the formative years are extended to describe longer careers. Morrisroe’s career was cut short by his untimely death at 30, and his wild proto-punk life and art is iconic and emblematic of the group. But holding this center is increasingly tenuous in the case of Goldin, whose peripatetic oeuvre has been largely hit and miss since I’ll Be Your Mirror, her signature compilation of photographs from the early years, and Armstrong, who practiced ever greater visual restraint and high style as he moved on to fashion photography before his death last year. Seen collectively, not every photo makes sense as the Boston School, but surely that lack of sense and symmetry is where we can enjoy a greater poetics.

David Armstrong, George in Water, Provincetown. Courtesy ClampArt

The picture that emerges here speaks of place, not simply as the conjunction of Boston and New York, but of myriad scenes that made up that moment that deeply informed the creative communities of both cities in that time. Rife with portraits of recognizable personages-- artists like Pierson, Tabboo! (Tashjian), Greer Lankton, and Pat Hearn, then an artist before she transformed the art world as a dealer-- and lots of sexy men, these portraits speak of the affinities within this outsider community and these artists’ need to capture that, yet there are also many self-portraits, speaking to the self-reflexivity within all the work. As a form of documentation, there is great power in these photographs of a subculture that time, drugs, and AIDS has long since extinguished, but the real potency is in how these artists see and feel their world--an emphatically direct photography so in situ that we’re reminded of how posed, staged and mediated this medium often is. It’s a diaristic paean to the ways that love, sexuality, gender, and lifestyle can exist within a group yet manifest a deeply personal expression within the artist.

 

— By Carlo McCormick  06/04/2015

Emi Anrakuji: 1800 Millimetre

Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, New York


Emi Anrakuji, Untitled 082, 2015. Courtesy Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery

Unlike most photographers, Emi Anrakuji isn't content to use the camera simply as a tool to convey her own, subjective view of the world; instead, in her hands, the camera becomes a strident, and at times less than cooperative, witness to the very tenuousness of perception itself. Such a metaphysical, and ultimately compelling, approach to making art comes honestly to the Tokyo-based artist, who suffered a debilitating brain illness when she was in her 20s that left her blind in one eye. Today the 51-year-old artist can see, though her vision there is severely impaired. Fortunately, accurate vision is less a prerequisite for making good self-portraiture than having the courage to look.

These simple, pleasing pictures, on view at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery through May 30, achieve a great deal of dynamic motion (and convey more than a little sexual tension) via a few basic formal and compositional conceits: the use of disorienting diagonals; overexposed and washed-out back-lighting; starkly printed contrasts; and a slew of reflections in both mirrors and polished surfaces. Objects become indistinct -- forcing us to look, and look again. In one image, Anrakuji holds a huge pair of scissors in one hand, balances her weight on one leg, and raises the other -- we presume she's about to trim her own pubic hair, albeit rather precariously. It would be nice if we could read her facial expression while she's poised in this act, but, alas, her own ample hair blocks her face almost completely from the camera's view. In another image, we see the same scissors reflected in what seems to be a circular shaving mirror. The scissors appear smaller this time, yet somehow more menacing. Anrakuji shot all these scenes in two locations -- a hotel room, and friend's borrowed New York apartment -- and the highly confined domestic spaces add a frisson of both lived-in familiarity and indistinct foreboding. 

Emi Anrakuji, Untitled 370, 2015. Courtesy Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery

The shot that distills Arakuji's potent ability to fuse larger social imagination and private space (read: what the media likes us to think women do when they’re alone, and what they really do when they're alone) is a single, vertical shot of Anrakuji's naked body seen from the breasts down. She kneels on a bed, dangling a series of ball-shaped objects before her torso, and, at the point where her thighs meet, or rather, don't (the artist is quite thin), a small shaft of shadow appears that, believe it or not, reads just like the glinting blade of an unsheathed sword. After blinking once or twice, we can convince ourselves that this shiny, phallic mirage is of course the object of our imagination, but too late -- a “transgression” has already stuck in our minds: A woman, left alone, in a hotel room, has been allowed to see her own body however she chooses. Good thing the camera was there, to play along.

 

— By Sarah Schmerler  05/29/2015

Frédéric Brenner: An Archaeology of Fear and Desire

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York


Frédéric Brenner, Ben Gurion Airport, 2010. Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

Few photographers capture the complexities and diversities of the Jewish experience like Frédéric Brenner. Surely, none do so with greater scope or greater sensitivity.

An Archaeology of Fear and Desire, on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery until July 3, is a study of modern Israel, a place, in Brenner's view, where Jewish history lives in the stories, expressions, and environments of its modern inhabitants. 

Brenner's opus is Diaspora, a 25-year record of Jews in 40 countries; selections from this body of work are on display in an adjacent room at Howard Greenberg. Archaeology is a narrower project by comparison — the earliest photos date back just six years, and they're all taken in the New Jersey-sized country — and yet its reach feels comparably wide. Israel, here, is both urban and rural, modern and ancient, moving forward and looking back.

Frédéric Brenner, Palace Hotel, 2009. Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

These images, though straightforward in their approach, embody many of the contradictions and contrasts in Israel, a place Brenner has described as "un-understandable." One photo shows three ultra Orthodox men at Ben Gurion Airport, all wearing black hoods over their eyes to block out the so-called immodesties of modern life. And yet, they have all consented to be photographed — that is, to be seen by the very people who they refuse to see themselves. 

Unlike Diaspora and another people-centric work on display here, Exile at Home, Brenner lets the landscape itself do the talking to a larger degree in Archaeology. In one wide shot of a schoolyard, for instance, children play amongst white cubes we know to be bomb shelters, a simple scene that speaks to the everyday possibility of violence here. Other views are more open to interpretation, like the one depicting a tree blossoming from rubble on a dusty, brown plain, or the one that shows the Palace Hotel gutted amid construction.

Brenner's focus, frequently, is on family. In one portrait, we see three generations of women, the oldest a survivor of the Holocaust, staring straight into the camera. One is left to ponder the profound differences in their individual experiences, as well as the strong ties that unite them. In another, we see the Orthodox Weinfeld family, its brood of nine children seated at a long dining table bookended by the stoic matriarch and patriarch, the latter looking much like the old paintings of Orthodox men hanging on the wall behind them. In this context, the image seems like a sign of timeless rigidity in a land marked by so much change. Israel may be un-understandable, but in Archaeology, Brenner reinforces his case that it is an enigma worth exploring.

 

— By Jordan G. Teicher  05/19/2015

Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography

Getty Center, Los Angeles


Lisa Oppenheim, Lunagrams #5, 2010. ©Lisa Oppenheim, courtesy J. Paul Getty Museum

When asked how he started experimenting with photography, Belgian artist Pierre Cordier described a scrappily romantic experience: he was in the military, in Germany, in 1956, and he was writing a love note to a girl named Erika, using nail polish on light-sensitive paper. Once developed, the painted portions of the paper became colored while the rest of the paper turned dark. Cordier proclaimed himself the inventor of the camera-less chemigram process, essentially a painting-photography hybrid, and he became quite good at extracting strange colors and eccentric compositions. A few of these hang in the first gallery of the Getty’s exhibition, Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography, on view through September 6, including such sensual images as Chemigram II, 1976, in which the reddish squares in an uneven grid look like slabs of excavated earth. Work by Man Ray and Robert Heinecken hangs in that gallery, too, early experiments with photo process that still read as surprising, raw discoveries. 

Chris McCaw, Sunburned GSP #609 (San Francisco Bay), 2012. Courtesy J. Paul Getty Museum

The subsequent galleries feature the contemporary “reinventions” at the core of the exhibition. The seven artists on view have rejected the smooth predictability of the digital, but their analogue experiments feel more calculated, less risky than their historical predecessors. Alison Rossiter makes her elegant, intentionally flawed washes by exposing expired photo paper, mostly made before the 1950s. The results are gray, brown, or off-white expanses, nostalgia pared down to its barest elements. Lisa Oppenheim adds silver toner to her developer, so that her Heliograms and Lunagrams, made by exposing photo-paper to the sun and moon, shimmer subtly. Chris McCaw photographs the sun, loading enlarger paper rather than film into his camera so that the lens acts like a magnifying glass, and the light literally burns the paper. Tastefully positioned burn holes or gashes dash across his paper negatives. John Chiara is more dramatic, and some of his vibrant landscapes, processed as negatives, are super-saturated inversions of nature. Matthew Brandt works with landscape too, sometimes mixing ashes or debris -- or chocolate cake, in the case of one silkscreen -- into the ink he uses to print his intensely stylized images. 

But even these experiments are hard to read as radical. Perhaps this is because they arrive in the wake of a generation of conceptual photographers who put critical content front and center, even when experimenting with process  (Brian Weil, Cindy Sherman, David Wojnarowicz). Perhaps it’s also because some of the images are suspiciously close in look and feel to the formalism dominating the painting market at the moment. Israel Lund’s approach to color can be compared to Brandt’s, Jacob Kassay’s to Oppenheim’s. Overlaps like these make the work in the exhibition feel in line with the zeitgeist, a savvy, safe approach to reinvention.  

 

 

— By Catherine Wagley  05/17/2015

Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera

Grey Art Gallery, New York


Tseng Kwong Chi, New York, New York, 1979

A fixture in the downtown art scene of the 1980s, Tseng Kwong Chi also skillfully embraced the role of the outsider. In his best-known body of work, East Meets West, he cast himself as an inscrutable Chinese tourist in dark glasses and a Mao suit taking a Grand Tour of America. He took poker-faced selfies, before there were selfies, in front of the Twin Towers, Niagara Falls, and the Hollywood sign, among other sites, an exotic, unknowable Other, posing with monuments and places worshipped by Americans.  Deadpan and dry, his photographs were about identity and “values.” 

But in an era of earnest identity politics, Tseng’s work skewed toward the playful, as this illuminating exhibition, on view at NYU's Grey Art Gallery through July 11, makes clear. The Grey is the first stop for this retrospective, which was organized by Amy Brandt, a curator at the Chrysler Museum, where it will be on view in August, and it gives a rich sense of Tseng’s influence as an artist, social diarist, and cultural gadfly. 

Tseng, who died in 1990, was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Vancouver, and studied photography in Paris before moving to New York, and his knowledge of art history was extensive. East Meets West gave way to The Expeditionary Series, in which an assistant photographed him as a tiny figure dwarfed by a vast landscape, a photographic version of a 19th-century European Romantic painting.

Tseng Kwong Chi, Yves Saint Laurent and Tseng Kwong Chi, 1980. Costumes at the Met series

But he also documented friends and fellow artists such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, the actress Ann Magnuson, Jean-Michel Basquiat and the dancer Bill T. Jones. He’s part of the party in these pictures, which convey a sense of boisterous belonging. But Tseng seemed to relish being an outsider, and he made his way again and again into odd pockets of society at every cultural and socioeconomic strata, drawing back a curtain on American culture high and low. Here he is grinning behind a trio of buff blond lifeguards at the Lifeguard Ball in Wildwood, NJ, and there he is with Nancy Kissinger, having famously crashed the Costume Institute Ball at the Met for the opening of The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of the Ch’ing Dynasty, 1644-1912.

Tseng was a sharp observer and satirist, and his photographs of his friends and fellow artists, many published in the SoHo Weekly News, brim with energy. Tseng, Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat died within two years of each other, and this show at the Grey, together with a Brooklyn Museum show of Basquiat’s notebooks on through August, are reminders of all they had left to do. 

 

— By Jean Dykstra  05/14/2015

Marion Gray: Within the Light

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland


Marion Gray, Ann Hamilton and Meredith Monk, Songs of Ascension, 2008, printed 2010. ©Marion Gray

Since the mid-1970s, Marion Gray has steadfastly photographed performance-based art in exhibitions and public settings, mostly in the Bay Area. Engaging in an uncommon commitment to this artistic milieu, she has captured historic moments with a degree of poignancy that befits the tone of each subject. The 23 pictures in this exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California, on view through June 21, were mostly shot in the 1980s (though many were printed more recently), and they comprise a small sample of Gray’s vast archive of performance documentation covering a golden era of performance work. Included are shots of Karen Finley, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Joan Jonas, and a late work by Marina Abramovic and Ulay. The selections, which balance international performance figures with those working in the area, point to the breadth of Gray’s subject matter, as well as her presence at seminal works by important artists, in venues that have closed and become legendary art historical locations.  

Marion Gray, Opening of the Exhibition Avedon: 1946-1980, 1980, printed 2014. ©Marion Gray

Gray’s position in these pictures is active; she treats each shot as if she were an art-world photojournalist. The best works seem almost collaborative, in that the photographer harnesses the energy of the artists and works she depicts. In a wall text, she describes her approach as akin to dance, of “being in the right spot, ready for the moment.” A black-and-white shot of a 1985 performance by the kinetic iconoclast group Survival Research Laboratories presents what appears to be a war zone, a cannon decimating a house structure. Gray’s composition excludes the audience and thereby takes on an ominous gravity. There is a more impressionistic, dreamy quality to a color image of an Ann Hamilton/Meredith Monk collaboration that magnifies the unique nature of the architecture, which was designed by Hamilton.  In other works, Gray shows an affinity for how architecture accommodates human presence: a powerfully geometric image represents the opening party of a 1980 Richard Avedon retrospective at the Berkeley Art Museum, and a view of anthropomorphized furniture in a 1994 installation by Brian Goggin contrasts the playfulness of the artwork with the rigid courtyard of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. This compact sample of Gray’s work manages to communicate the commitment and richness of her practice, as well as a slice of San Francisco’s artistically adventurous recent past. 

 

— By Glen Helfand  05/12/2015

Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist

Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe


Margaret Bourke-White, Buchenwald Prisoners, 1945. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

Referring to the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet, fellow painter Paul Cézanne famously quipped to art dealer Ambroise Vollard: “Monet is only an eye, but my God what an eye!” The same could be said for American photographer Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971). Examining Bourke-White’s work, from the late 1920s through the 1950s, one quickly senses her complete command of the photographic tools at her disposal that resulted in compositions filled with formal elements of design that were part and parcel of narratives that documented times of significant events. Soaring heights of urban construction, extreme poverty in the South, and World War II are only a few of the historic moments captured in photographs by Bourke-White – many of which are iconic in American photography.

In 50 photographs on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography through June 28, Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist gives a brief, yet fine overview of her prolific career.

 

Margaret Bourke-White, Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck, MT, 1936. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography

 

Included are instantly recognizable images such as At the Time of the Louisville Flood, Louisville, Kentucky, 1937, where people are queued in a bread line below a billboard exuding the good life, as well as Buchenwald Prisoners, Germany, 1945, in which prisoners confined behind barbed-wire await liberation -- the latter taken when Bourke-White was on assignment for Life Magazine traveling with Patton’s army. In one of her most artistic images, Patterns Made by Steel Liners for Diversion Tunnels, Fort Peck Dam, Montana, 1936, geometric patterns fill the frame composed of various machine-hewed disks with radiating spokes. Bourke-White, whose career was cut short by Parkinson’s disease in 1956, once said, “To understand another human being you must gain insight into the conditions which made him what he is.” She was tenacious in her pursuit of photographs that conveyed truths about the human condition, as well as the beauty in things produced by humankind. 

 

 

— By Douglas Fairfield  05/04/2015

Award Presented at Paris Photo


Photo by CJ Heyliger

Congratulations to CJ Heyliger, who was presented with the INTRODUCING! Young California Photographer Award at Paris Photo LA. The inaugural award, which comes with $5,000, was co-sponsored by J.P. Morgan. Heyliger received his BFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and is set to receive his MFA from UCLA this spring.

 

— By Jean Dykstra  05/01/2015

In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11

Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe


Shimpei Takeda, Trace #16, Lake Hayama, from the series Trace, 2012. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In the event of a natural disaster, first responders supply video and photographs of the immediate damage, which plays repeatedly in the media, but which rarely tells the story of survivors putting their lives back together and struggling to make sense of tragedy. Curators Anne Havinga and Anne Nishimura Morse at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, present the first major exhibition to offer a response by Japanese contemporary photographers to the triple disasters known as 3/11, which took place March 11, 2011. On view through July 12, it is a profound meditation on fragility, memory, and loss.

Seventeen photographers, some with deep ties to the region, examine the physical and spiritual marks left by the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami. A series of color photographs by Naoya Hatakeyama document the slow rebuilding of a ravaged landscape. He lost his mother and ancestral home to the tsunami, and in one achingly poignant photograph a rainbow ends where his family home once stood. Across the room, Lieko Shiga, who narrowly escaped the tsunami by car, had been in residence collecting ancestral stories prior to 3/11. By making clever use of the enigmatic way the camera compresses space her large, surreal color photographs suggest chaos can potentially erupt at any moment. In one, an elderly husband and wife stand arm in arm in a barren field at night. A blood-red tree root resembling a giant heart appears to pierce through the man’s chest.

Lieko Shiga, Portrait of Cultivation, 2009. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

      Adjacent rooms focus on the cultural anxiety and loss stemming from the ongoing nuclear contamination leaking from the flooded Fukishima power plant. Shimpei Takeda unearths radioactive traces by exposing soil samples from affected areas to photographic paper. While his black-and-white photographs suggest images of galaxies, they are proof of invisible underground dangers. Masaru Tatsuki began documenting ancient traditions still practiced by local rural populations in 2006. Annual hunting rites were banned after the meltdown contaminated the regional deer population, severing longstanding totemic connections. Daguerreotypes by Takashi Arai memorialize decades of atomic destruction, from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the 1954 Bikini Atoll fallout and 3/11. His luminescent images capture the havoc wrought by each nuclear episode over decades. A call for remembrance is prevalent throughout the exhibit but simmering underneath is a haunting reminder about the ever-present perils of nuclear energy.  

— By Edie Bresler  04/29/2015

Huntington Acquires Adams Portfolios


Ansel Adams, Monolith, the Face of Half-Dome, 1927. ©2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Trust

The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, has acquired a full set of Ansel Adams’s portfolios. Adams produced seven portfolios, each containing between 10 and 15 photographs, during hislife, and George Melvin Byrne and Barbara S. Barrett-Byrne have donated all seven to the Huntington. 

Byrne, who passed away shortly after making the gift, was a collector and amateur photographer as well as an environmentalist. He acquired five of the portfolios directly from Adams and the other two from the Sierra Club.

 

— By Jean Dykstra  04/28/2015

archives

2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles

at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


MoMA Expands its New Photography Series


In Appreciation of Anne Wilkes Tucker


Lucinda Bunnen

at Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta


To Feel Less Alone: Gay Block, A Portrait

at New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe


David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, and Nan Goldin / Boston to New York

at ClampArt, New York


May
Emi Anrakuji: 1800 Millimetre

at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, New York


Frédéric Brenner: An Archaeology of Fear and Desire

at Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York


Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography

at Getty Center, Los Angeles


Tseng Kwong Chi: Performing for the Camera

at Grey Art Gallery, New York


Marion Gray: Within the Light

at Oakland Museum of California, Oakland


Margaret Bourke-White: Pioneering Photojournalist

at Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe


Award Presented at Paris Photo


April
In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11


Huntington Acquires Adams Portfolios


Doug Hall: Love and Architecture

at Rena Bransten Projects, San Francisco


Court Rules in Favor of Arne Svenson


2015 Guggenheim Fellows Announced


Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner Announced


Assaf Evron: The Sea Was Smooth, Perfectly Mirroring the Sky

at Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York


Joy Episalla: Street View Rear Window

at Participant Inc, New York


Library of Congress Acquires Civil War Stereographs


Brian Weil, 1979-95: Being in the World


March
Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklánski Photographs

at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Yale Acquires Large 19th-Century Photography Collection


Toshio Shibata: Water Colors

at Laurence Miller Gallery, New York


Dan Leers Appointed Photo Curator at Carnegie Museum


Deborah Luster Is 2015 Gardner Fellow in Photography


Ryerson Acquires Berenice Abbott Archive


Alec Soth: Songbook

at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York


February
Man Ray: Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare

at Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.


ICP Announces Infitity Awards


Hal Fischer: Gay Semiotics

at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles


Simone Lueck: American Movie

at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles


Brian Wallis Leaving ICP


Esko Männikkö: Time Flies

at Yancey Richardson, New York


New Director for Paris Photo


Visibility Machines: Harun Farocki and Trevor Paglen

at Gallery 400, Chicago


January
Drew Sawyer at Columbus Museum of Art


Mark Klett: Camino del Diablo

at Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York


The Return to Reason

at Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco


Gordon Parks: Segregation Story, High Museum of Art and Jackson Fine Art; Gordon Parks: American Champion, Arnika Dawkins Gallery

at High Museum of Art, Atlanta


Edmund Teske

at Gitterman Gallery, New York


Classic Photographs Los Angeles


Library of Congress Acquires Camilo José Vergara Archive


Photo LA's 24th Edition


The Maine Photo Project Debuts this Month


Eastman House on YouTube


Sotheby's Denise Bethel Is Stepping Down


2014
December
Bulger Gallery Acquires Vivian Maier Collection


Sarah Sudhoff Joins Houston Center for Photography


Mitch Dobrowner: Still Earth | Storms

at Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe


Phil Stern, 1919-2014


Arthur Leipzig, 1918-2014


Eva Respini Moves to Boston's ICA


MoMA Shows Thomas Walther Collection


Art Fairs in Miami


Lorenzo Vitturi: Dalston Anatomy

at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York


November
Larry Sultan: Here and Home

at LACMA, Los Angeles


Lewis Baltz, 1945-2014


Fahey/Klein Opens New Space


RISC Benefit Auction Open Now


Orit Raff: Priming

at Julie Saul Gallery, New York


Lucien Clergue, 1934-2014


Sandro Miller: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters

at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago


Paris Photo-Aperture PhotoBook Awards


Sunil Gupta: Out and About: New York and New Delhi

at sepiaEYE, New York


Builder Levy: Photographer

at Arnika Dawkins Gallery, Atlanta


Mayumi Lake: Latent Heat

at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, New York


Special Sale of Magnum Photos


New Space for Foley Gallery


Juan Fernando Herrán Win Prix Pictet Commission


Maurice Ortega to Head Curatorial Assistance


October
David Armstrong, 1954-2014


Lucie Awards Announced


New Home for Camera Club of NY


Philip Gefter Publishes Biography of Sam Wagstaff


Fred Ritchin New Dean at ICP


C/O Berlin Opens in Amerika Haus


René Burri, 1933-2014


Joseph Sywenkyj Wins Eugene Smith Grant


United States Artist Fellowships Announced


Ray Metzker, 1931-2014


Lois Conner: The Long View

at Gitterman Gallery, New York


Howard Greenberg / Steidl


Magic on Earth: Jean-Claude Moschetti

at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle


Blind Spot | Griffin Editions Project Space


Shannon Ebner: Public Surface Pattern

at Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco


Ruud van Empel: New Work

at Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta


Getty Acquires Chris Killip Photographs


Samuel Fosso

at Walther Collection Project Space, New York


September
Yvonne Venegas: San Pedro Garza Garcia

at Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica


Guarapuava: Valdir Cruz

at Throckmorton Fine Art, New York


ICP to Bowery


Whitney Museum Gets Major Photography Gift


Amon Carter Museum Digitizes Trove of Artworks


Climate Week NYC at ICP


Filter Photo Festival


Richard Mosse at Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art


Ernest Cole: Photographer

at Grey Art Gallery, New York


August Sander: Just Women / Jess T. Dugan: Every Breath We Drew

at Gallery Kayafas, Boston


August
Photo Shanghai Debuts


Kasher|Potamkin Launches New Gallery/Boutique


July
Wynn Bullock: Revelations

at High Museum of Art, Atlanta


Where There's Smoke. John Gossage: Who Do You Love

at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Allan Sekula: Ship of Fools

at Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica


Cantor Art Center Receives Warhol Archive


Jack Leigh: Full Circle, Low Country Photographs, 1972-2004

at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah


Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful

at Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago


Stephen Wirtz Gallery Closing


Justin Kimball: Where We Find Ourselves

at Carroll And Sons, Boston


Jacques Sonck: Archetypes

at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York


The Invisible Photograph


Getty Acquires Robert McElroy Archive


Oresick Joins Silver Eye Center


Liz Deschenes Awarded Rappaport Prize


New Avedon App


Bonjour Arles!


Doug Hall: Bodies in Space

at Benrubi Gallery, New York


Cahiers d'Art Devoted to Sugimoto


Photo Espana Prize Goes to Aitor Lara


June
Anthony Friedkin: The Gay Essay

at de Young Museum, San Francisco


2014 Prix HSBC Awarded to Two Photographers


Rudolf Kicken, 1947-2014


"Biggest Photography Class in History"


Puppies and Pictures


Domesticated: Photographs by Amy Stein

at National Academy of Sciences, Washington


Steel Stillman: Incidents, 1969-2014

at Show Room Gowanus, Brooklyn


Callahan Collection Donated to Vancouver Art Gallery


Brandon Thibodeaux Wins Michael P. Smith Grant


Roger Mayne, 1929-2014


The Fence Goes on View in Brooklyn


Ka-Man Tse Wins Robert Giard Fellowship


Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography / The Embroidered Image

at Museum of Arts and Design / Robert Mann Gallery, New York


Tim Barber: Relations


May
Michael Flomen: Wild Nights

at Boite Noire Gallery, West Hollywood


Sze Tsung Leong: Horizons

at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York


Portland Art Museum Acquires Robert Adams Photographs


Michael Schmidt, 1945-2014


Paul Anthony Smith: Mangos and Crab

at Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago


Michael Schmidt Wins Prix Pictet


Jaimie Warren

at SF Camerawork, San Francisco


Symposium at Getty Celebrates 175th Anniversary of Photography


Zoe Leonard Receives Buckbaum Award


Andre Serrano Creates Public Art Project


Luigi Ghirri: La Città

at Matthew Marks Gallery (LA), Los Angeles


Richard Mosse Wins Deutsche Börse Prize


Poetics of Light: Pinhole Photography

at New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe


Prix Pictet Finalists On View at V&A


Richard Renaldi: Touching Strangers / This Grand Show


Hillman Photography Initiative Explores Future of Photography


Walking in Their Shoes


Mark Ruwedel Wins Scotiabank Photography Award


April
Gabor Kerekes, 1945-2014


Major Gifts to High Museum


Hiroshi Sugimoto Wins Isamu Noguchi Prize


Carolle Bénitah: Photos-Souvenirs

at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York


A New Space for Photo-Eye


Maroesjka Lavigne: Island

at Robert Mann Gallery, New York


George Dureau, 1931-2014


More AIPAD Picks from Elisabeth Biondi


Elisabeth Biondi's AIPAD Picks


Sarah Schmerler's Picks from AIPAD


2014 Guggenheim Fellowships


Lisa Sette Relocating


Photo Eye: Avant-Garde Photography in Europe


Lower East Side Photo Walk


Roe Ethridge: Sacrifice Your Body

at Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York


March
Laurie Simmons: Kigurumi, Dollers and How We See

at Salon 94 Bowery, New York


Getty Museum Acquires Tress Photographs


Amy Elkins Wins Aperture Portfolio Prize


Moutoussamy-Ashe Photos Go to Smithsonian


Walead Beshty: Selected Bodies of Work

at Regen Projects, Los Angeles


Public Intimacy: Art and Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa

at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco


Prince/Cariou Case Settled


Daniel Gordon Wins Paul Huf Award


New Photo Gallery in Williamsburg


ICP on the Move


National Gallery of Art Receives Gift of Photographs


Jamie Warren Wins Baum Award


Chloe Dewe Mathews Wins Gardner Fellowship


Matthew Pillsbury: Nate and Me

at Sasha Wolf Gallery, New York


Getty Images Opens Up Library


Paula McCartney: A Field Guide to Snow and Ice

at Klompching Gallery, Brooklyn


American Cool

at National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.


February
Steichen/Warhol: Picturing Fame

at Block Museum of Art, Evanston


ICP Announces Infinity Award Winners


Onward in Philly


Samuel Fosso Photographs Rescued


J. Shimon & J. Lindemann: We Go From Where We Know

at John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan


John Stanmeyer Wins World Press Photo Award


Not Your Grandmother's Librarian


Patrick Nagatani: Outer and Inner: Contemplations on the Physical and the Spiritual

at Andrew Smith Gallery (annex), Santa Fe


New Photo Gallery in Boston


Fred McDarrah: Save the Village

at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, 1930-2014


Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis: Unexplored Territory

at Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles


January
Public Art Project Highlights the Boroughs


Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video

at Guggenheim Museum, New York


Getty Acquires Pictorialist Photographs


Peter Hujar: Love & Lust

at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Child Identified in 1908 Lewis Hine Photo


Heather Snider Joins SF Camerawork


The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus

at DePaul Art Museum, Chicago


Phillip Prodger Joins London's National Portrait Gallery


Tanya Marcuse: Fallen

at Julie Saul Gallery, New York


Joshua Chuang Joins CCP


Sophie Calle: Last Seen

at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


Danielle Durchslag: Relative Unknowns

at Denny Gallery, New York


Carnegie Museum Founds Hillman Photography Initiative


Soo Kim Awarded Gutmann Fellowship


Symposium on March on Washington


2013
December
November
Balthus: The Last Studies

at Gagosian Gallery (Mad Ave), New York


Saul Leiter, 1923-2013


Maine Philanthropists Give Collection to Portland Museum of Art


Daniel Morel Wins Suit Against Getty Images/AFP


Sean McFarland: Glass Mountains

at Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco


John Divola: As Far As I Could get

at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, LACMA, Pomona Museum of Art,


Eileen Quinlan: Curtains

at Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York


ICP Names New Executive Director


Clarence John Laughlin Award Announced


Prix Pictet Shortlist Announced


And the Winner Is ....


Libération's Powerful Homage to Photography


Tanja Hollander: The Landscapes of Are You Really My Friend?

at Carroll And Sons, Boston


War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath

at Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn


Lisa Hostetler to Eastman House


Dispatched to Texas


Finding Vivian Maier


Queens Museum Reopens with Photos by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao


New E-Book from Library of Congress


Hello, Goodbye


October
Iké Udé: Style and Sympathies

at Leila Heller Gallery, New York


Deborah Turbeville, 1932-2013


ICP Celebrates Robert Capa's Centenary


Of Walking

at Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago


Here is New York


Polly Borland: You

at PK Shop, New York


Exhibition Showcases Martin Weinstein's Collection


They Are Us: Animal Identity and the Anthropomorphic Urge

at Rick Wester Fine Art, New York


Roxana Marcoci Named Senior Curator at MoMA


Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Acquires Manfred Heiting Photo Book Collection


Documerica Looks Back


Matthew Porter: Greet the Dust

at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles


George Tice: 60 Years of Photography

at Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York


September
Sebastiaan Bremer

at Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Carrie Mae Weems Is a MacArthur Genius


We Shall: Photographs by Paul D'Amato

at DePaul Art Museum, Chicago


She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World


Malcolm Daniel Heading to Texas


Ryan McGinley: Yearbook

at Ratio 3, San Francisco


Brian Sholis Joins Cincinnati Art Museum


Pieter Hugo: Kin

at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York


Adieu to Le Journal de la Photographie


Nadia Sablin Wins Firecracker Photography Award


Getty Acquires Baltz Archive


August
Ray Metzker: Shadow Catcher

at Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe


Guillermo Santos: La Ciudad Blanca

at Fotografica Bogota 2013,


The Getty Shares Its Collections


Inez & Vinoodh

at Gagosian Gallery (LA), Beverly Hills


July
Christian Houge: Shadow Within

at Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco


Party Picks: Estate of Jimmy DeSana

at Salon 94 Bowery, New York


In The Studio

at John Messinger, East Hampton


That Which Is: Marcia Lippman

at KMR Arts, Washington Depot


Ben Lifson, 1941-2013


Jan Banning: Down and Out in the South

at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta


Tom Wood: Men and Women

at Thomas Erben Gallery, New York


From the Ground Up: The Tent Camera Photographs of Abelardo Morell

at Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago


Portion Control: Chrisopher Boffoli

at Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York


June
Bing Wright: Broken Mirror/Evening Sky

at James Harris Gallery, Seattle


A Different Kind of Order: The International Center of Photography Triennial

at International Center of Photography, New York


JR / Jose Parla, Wrinkles of the City, Havana Cuba

at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York


May
David Hilliard: The Tale is True

at Carroll And Sons, Boston


Japan's Modern Divide: Photographs by Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto

at Getty Center, Los Angeles


Michael Jang: The Jangs

at Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco


David Levinthal: War Games

at Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Mike Brodie's Period of Juvenile Prosperity


Spectator Sports

at Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago


Joshua Lutz: Hesitating Beauty

at ClampArt, New York


April
Shiprock and Mont St. Michel: Photographs by William Clift

at New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe


Garry Winogrand

at SFMOMA, San Francisco


Liliana Porter: 1973

at Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston


In The Studio

at Dillon DeWaters, Brooklyn


AIPAD's Photography Show


Bruce Davidson


March
Bill Brandt: Shadow and Light

at Museum of Modern Art, New York


Iwan Baan: The Way We Live

at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Los Angeles


Suburbia

at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, Atlanta


Julie Weitz

at The Suburban, Oak Park


Armory Show 2013

at Armory Show, New York


Scope New York 2013

at SCOPE New York, New York


ADAA Art Show 2013

at ADAA Art Show, New York


Shooting Stars: Publicity Stills from Early Hollywood and Portraits by Andy Warhol

at Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


February
Topsy Turvy in Madison Square Park


JoAnn Verburg: Present Tense

at G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle


Miles Barth Joins Artnet


The Unphotographable

at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Katrina del Mar: Girls Girls Girls

at Participant Inc, New York


Robin Rhode: Take Your Mind off the Street

at Lehmann Maupin (Chelsea), New York


Arne Svenson: The Neighbors

at Western Project, Culver City


January
Silvio Wolf: Us

at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York


Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

at Grey Art Gallery, New York


Katherine Bussard Named Curator at
Princeton Art Museum


Catherine Wagner: trans/literate.

at Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco


Karl Baden: Roadside Attractions

at Miller Yezerski Gallery, Boston


Viviane Sassen on View


January is for Hot Shots


Richard Pare: The Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32

at Graham Foundation, Chicago


2012
December
Faking it: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Idris Khan: New Photographs

at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Jessica Eaton: Polytopes

at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles


Nadav Kander: Yangtze: The Long River

at Flowers, New York


Ori Gersht: History Repeating

at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston


Attachments

at The Hole, New York


1979:1—2012:21: Jan Tichy Works with the MoCP Collection

at Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago


Bonni Benrubi, 1953-2012


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