Photography in New York

Article excerpt

Photography in New York

No, this text is not about the very useful publication Photography in New York, but an homage to it; it has now become Photograph and provides invaluable information to whoever wants to stay informed on photography shown in the Big Apple (also available on-line at: http://www.photographyguide.com).

With the first days of February comes one of the major events of the photographic year in New York: the Photography Show sponsored by the Association of International Photographic Art Dealers (AIPAD) at the Hilton hotel on 6th avenue and 53rd street. This year the show opened its doors without "supporting" exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, or the Guggenheim. Apparently synergy is a tough goal to achieve in New York; in fact, the Stephen Cohen Gallery is also announcing a new event competing with the AIPAD show or extending it (the Stephen Cohen Gallery is a member of AIPAD). After "Photo L.A." last January, "Photo San Francisco" next July. "Photo New York" is scheduled for next fall. 2004 also happens to be the 100th anniversary of Bill Brandt's birth. A new book of the British photographer's best images is being published in England by the Bill Brandt archive while Stanford University Press just released Bill Brandt, a Life by Paul Delany. Chair of the Department of English at Simon Fraser University (B.C.). AIPAD decided to honor the British photographer by reproducing one of his photographs on the cover of the catalogue of the show ("Doing the Lambeth Walk. 1939"): unfortunately, nothing else happened to support this gesture, no show, no lecture. MoMA is usually a block away, but due to renovations, it is currently stationed in Brooklyn until the re-opening of its Manhattan quarters next year. Its next show will be Ansel Adams at 100 by John Szarkowski! The Metropolitan did not, this year, repeat last year's initiative when the Thomas Struth retrospective not only coincided with the AIPAD show but was part of it. 2004 is a biennial year for the Whitney, whose programming has been somewhat flat for a while, lacking energy and innovative initiatives, especially in the department of photography: funds might be partly responsible for the current state of things. The Guggenheim seems to survive in the wake of its Matthew Barney show. The museum had nothing on show and looked almost more enticing with its momentary atmosphere of absence/extra-minimalist display and pervading longing for art. It had for a while given its power back to Wright's architectural genius after storing Barneyis cheap props (the museum may have had a different financial experience though), and pseudo-postmodern mental bric-a-brac. The exception these days seems to be the International Center of Photography. Under Brian Wallis's curatorial leadership, ICP has soared to new heights and its recent shows have established it as the most dynamic, and stimulating photographic institutions in the world. Hardly had their first triennial closed its door that Only Skin Deep. Changing Visions of the American Self, the fruit of 4 years of intensive research and collaboration with Coco Fusco (collaboration is definitely a key ingredient in Wallis's working method) opened. Three other events seized the opportunity that the Photographic Show provided as it attracted photo aficionados from all around the country and beyond--although it seems that photo fairs as well as "Months of Photography"/biennials are spurting everywhere resulting in less travel. These events included: the Lotte Jacobi retrospective at the Jewish Museum uptown, the release of Richard Misrach's new work both on the cover and on the pages of Aperture's latest issue, and on the walls of the Pace/McGill gallery in Chelsea, and last, but nct least, the now-ritual auctions at Christie's and Swann's. One other show benefited from the AIPAD annual fair: Mark Osterman's wet collodion images in Confidence at the Howard Greenberg Gallery until March 13 (read interview in this issue of Afterimage, pp. …

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