Archive by Formats
A review of “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Published in Artforum, February 2013. For more information about and images of this exhibition, click here. Memories fade, so we invented a chemical process by which we can affix images of our world to paper. Yet photographs also fade, so we place them behind protective glass or store them away from the very light that [...]
Published in Artforum, January 2013. The second part of this exhibition is on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery until January 5. The first of a two-part survey of Joel Meyerowitz’s fifty-year career as a photographer, this exhibition presented nearly four dozen color and black-and-white prints of varying sizes. Today, Meyerowitz is known for large-format landscape [...]
Published in Artforum, December 2012. Yasuhiro Ishimoto died this past February at the age of ninety. This exhibition functioned as a small homage to the artist, who, over the course of nearly six decades, worked in a wide range of styles. Although he was born in San Francisco, Ishimoto was raised in Japan and returned [...]
Published in Artforum, November 2012. For more information about and images from the exhibition, click here. There are two dominant ways in which photographers have envisioned the landscape of the American West. One, glorying in the land and emphasizing descriptive specificity, is rooted in government-survey pictures of the 1870s; the other, wry and admonishing, arrived [...]
Published on Artforum.com on October 5, 2012. The exhibition remains on view at Nicole Klagsbrun until October 27. The austere geometry and muscular presence of architect Louis Kahn’s late designs infuses the photographs Barney Kulok has taken of the Four Freedoms Park. In this exhibition, however, one won’t find conventional documentation of the park’s allée of linden [...]
Jan Groover’s signal achievement was to compose scenes in the ground glass—the sheet of glass used for focusing images in large-format cameras without a viewfinder—and thereby undermine the camera’s mechanical vision. In the best of these photographs, what the lens captures doesn’t always match what one sees.
“Peripheral Visions” gathers photographers who have examined the liminal zones postwar developments created in Italy—places neither wealthy nor extremely poor, not quite suburban yet with enough wildness to offset their urban density.
The attention granted to hulking machines and metal surfaces may bring to mind 1920s-era photographic celebrations of the power of industrial machinery, such as those by Albert Renger-Patzsch. But Bourdeau’s series, made in the 1990s across northwestern Europe and the United States, is opposite in feeling: With Romantic melancholy, he documents the demise of the era that Renger-Patzsch’s New Objectivist images heralded.
Smith’s curatorial effort, drawn largely from his museum’s collection, was a meditation on the role photographs play in granting us access to pasts no longer extant. Though both life and death appear in its title, the general drift of this exhibition was toward ends, toward ruins.
An excerpt from and link to my review of “Weegee: Murder Is My Business,” an exhibition at the International Center of Photography.
Simon Norfolk returned to Afghanistan under the influence of John Burke, a photographer who traveled with British troops during the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878–80. In an attempt to draw out the continuities between the earlier conflict and the current occupation, he has both retraced Burke’s steps and created pictures he imagined Burke would take today.
An excerpt from my review of “The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011,” on view at the Museum of the City of New York.
Benson has devised a novel printing technique by which he isolates the photograph’s constituent parts into different layers, printing each separately after making minute color adjustments. Yet Benson offers a vision of America that verges on kitschy Americana.
Spanning more than half a century, “Daido Moriyama: On the Road” confirmed the artist’s importance to the story of Japanese photography. For Moriyama, urban life is tragic theater.
In a city troubled by crimes both petty and spectacular, photographer Jill Freedman sought to counter the largely negative opinion of cops on the beat, to humanize the men and women behind the badge.
The visual record of the civil rights and black power era has not been significantly expanded in recent years, which makes the recent discovery of hours of documentary footage captured by Swedish television journalists all the more special.
This is the fourth edition of the triennale, and the first to make the Yokohama Museum of Art its primary venue. Titled “Our Magic Hour,” the show focused upon an ability to see the wonderful in the everyday that has long been popularly ascribed to artists. The magic invoked is not one of mysticism, but rather of the temporary suspension of disbelief: artists see things differently than you and me and can show us what that seeing feels like.
This show, wryly titled “New York Means Business,” collected twenty-five images taken between 1977 and 1984, nearly all depicting storefront window displays.
The mushroom cloud is the icon of the nuclear age. It is much harder, however, to picture what the devastation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like. This is not for lack of visual evidence. The presentation at the International Center of Photography of several dozen photographs from the USSBS archive is therefore a chance to become better acquainted with the fearsome power at human disposal.
Victoria Sambunaris, who drove twenty thousand miles along the border to take the photographs in her new, ongoing series, “The Border,” 2009–, aims to “transcend political, ethical, or environmental ideology.” Yet political questions give these serene, large-scale, mostly uninhabited views a palpable undertow.
Link was a commercial photographer based in New York whose early love of trains was resuscitated while he was on assignment in 1955, when he took a side trip to watch a steam engine pass through town. Fascinated by the hulking machine and realizing that the Norfolk and Western lines comprised, as the exhibition title suggests, “The Last Steam Railroad in America,” Link tried to capture the tail end of the country’s century-long devotion to steam-powered travel.
Published in Artforum, December 2010. For the past decade, public attention paid to the United States armed forces has understandably focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet our country currently has more than 1.4 million actively deployed troops, and an overwhelming number of enlistees are not at this moment patrolling Baghdad streets or [...]
Having spent the past decade as a ventriloquist who made the modernist visual language of Alexander Calder, Jean Arp, and Joan Miró speak to contemporary issues—networking, long-range communication, globalization—Carter now seems content to focus on form and to experiment with new materials. And he does so with considerable success.
Published on Artforum.com on May 23, 2010. To see the review in context, click here. For the exhibition press release and a selection of images, click here. In this exhibition of new large-scale color photographs, Thomas Struth discloses realms largely hidden from public view: experimental science and high-tech industry. Struth’s images do not offer a [...]
Published in Artforum, May 2010. The exhibition remains on view at the International Center of Photography in New York until May 9. For more information, click here. We’re drawn to the past for countless reasons and revisit it in myriad ways, but analytic, interrogative approaches to what has come before us predominate in today’s art [...]
Published on Artforum.com on April 23, 2010. To see the review in context, click here. For more information about the exhibition and related book, click here. Wandering, Pac-Man-like, along Manhattan’s street grid on a sunny afternoon, it’s easy to romanticize the Pacific Northwest: air heavy with moisture, smeary gray sky, carpet of deep green foliage [...]
Published in Aperture 199, Summer 2010. “Joe Deal: New Work” was presented at the RISD Museum of Art, Providence, September 4, 2009–January 3, 2010. A version of the show is on view at Robert Mann Gallery, New York, until May 8, and will then travel to the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, June 5–August 1, [...]
Published in Artforum, April 2010. For additional images and information about the exhibition, click here. Anne Collier is an exceedingly patient artist, revisiting key themes again and again to refine the delicate balance between what she has termed her “forensic aesthetics” and her photographs’ “psychological or emotive” content. This exhibition, her first full-scale one-person show [...]
In Roger Ballen’s “Boarding House” there are few actual subjects with which to identify. The already claustrophobic, airless interiors of the building have been further flattened by Ballen’s bright flash, and in the shallow compositional field that results one finds not whole bodies but parts.
A two-hour visit to “Dance with Camera” neither exhausts a viewer’s patience nor leaves one with the sinking feeling of having missed great swaths of what was on offer. The exhibition successfully presents dance as a profitable frame of reference through which to understand anew collaboration, narrative propulsion, the body, and other topics artists wrestle with today.
As evidenced in this exhibition, poetry most often takes precedence over science for Dodge. That was the show’s chief strength and its primary liability. Yet the strongest artwork included here proved the value of Dodge’s explorations at the edge of sentimentality.
8 Natural Handstands (1969) is emblematic of the small but potent body of sculptures, photographs, and performances Kinmont created in the late 1960s and early ’70s, many of which were also on view in this exhibition, his first solo show in thirty-eight years.
Published in Aperture 197 (Winter 2009). Seen one at a time, Jochen Lempert’s black-and-white photographs of the natural world and its inhabitants do not make great claims upon a viewer. Some have artless compositions; others seem out of focus or to have no subject at all. Encountered in aggregate, however, as in Field Work, the [...]
Published on Artforum.com on September 25, 2009. To see the review in context, click here. The exhibition remains on view at Matthew Marks Gallery until October 24, 2009. Some of the pictures in this exhibition were published a decade ago in Doubletake magazine; most have never been exhibited. They were made from 1956 to 1958, [...]
Published on Artforum.com on September 23, 2009. To see the review in context, click here. Troy Brauntuch’s exhibition remains on view at Friedrich Petzel Gallery until October 17. This exhibition presents a three-decade sampling of Troy Brauntuch’s art, including a preponderance of small sketches, notes, and other source materials for his larger paintings and drawings. [...]