Archive for the “New England Photo Events” Category

By Phillip Jones

It’s impossible to live in a large city and not, at least to some degree, fall under its spell.  For some of us this fascination goes further and we find ourselves tramping down uncharted avenues searching for the city’s hidden secrets. Photographers, in particular, feel this tug.  Urban landscapes become the prime subject of their visual explorations.  In fact, the way we’ve come to perceive certain cities has been shaped by the artistic vision of the photographers that document them.  Paris has its Atgets, New York its Abbotts, Tokyo its Moriyamas, and so on. The cities keep growing and evolving, however, and each new generation of photographers naturally observe their surroundings with fresh eyes that replenish our understanding of the here and now.

Last night the PRC held its Urban Landscape Night here in the photogenic city of Boston as part of its ongoing Nights at the PRC program.  We looked at the portfolios of five urban photographers whose experience ranged from recent graduate to seasoned professional, but all of whom were dedicated and competent artists. Glenn Ruga, the PRC’s executive director, and I kicked off the evening with introductions, some observations about the urban landscape in general, and then we dove right into the presentations.  Each photographer had 20 minutes to present 20 images.  Three chose to lay their prints out on tables and two projected their work digitally.  I was asked to give the “official” feedback although the audience wasn’t shy about contributing input of their own.

(c) Randall Armor

Our first presenter was Randall Armor, who is a successful professional photographer, having shot commercial and editorial assignments for Lotus, Fidelity, Boston Magazine, and many others.  He is currently the director of the photography program for Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts.  This level of technical achievement and sophistication was evident in his many-faceted presentation.  His work had several subcategories including black-and-white street photography, nocturnal time-lapse photographs of moving trains, and complex incidental compositions utilizing signage, windows and reflections.  It was as if he’d curated a group show of urban photography but just happened to have taken all of the shots himself.  The work featured some real gems, and it’s a pleasure to see this skilled pro take a break from commercial assignments in order to follow his own paths of artistic inquiry, each of which seems rich with potential.

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Among Photo District News‘ list of 30 “new and emerging photographers to watch” published in the April 2011 issue are several with New England connections:

  • Rachel Barrett, born in Cambridge, MA, attended School of Visual Arts and Tishc School of the Arts at NYU, lives in New York
  • Justin Fantl, born in Hanover, NH, attended San Francisco Studio School and Academy of Art, San Francisco, lives in Brooklyn
  • Dima Gavrysh, born in Kiev, Ukraine, attended RISD, lives in New York and Providence
  • Ryan Heffernan, born in Berkeley, CA, attended Bates College, lives in San Francisco
  • Joel Micah Miller, born in Silver Spring, MD, attended Northeastern University and Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart, Germany, lives in Stuttgart

See their work, and that of others worth watching, at pdnonline.com’s gallery site, here.

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Announcement received via email from Gallery Kayafas

We’re not sure what “Eden” consists of for the Triiibe triplets and Cary Wolinsky (their photographic Boswell), or how much progress they’re making as they search for it in the provocatively closed-off space up the street from the PRC. Or whether their installation has anything to do with photography, aside from the history of intriguing images that all admiring spectators bring to encounters with this creative enterprise. But I know that the gallery hours there will see some of us wandering over to check it out; stay tuned for reports from the neighborhood.

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Jane Paradise, At the Museum, San Francisco, 2009, from the series "Not Quite Strangers"

Northeast Exposure Online is back, in a redesigned presentation that will facilitate viewer access to the great work of our regional membership.

The October installment of the new NEO goes live today and features work by Jane Paradise. Jane has been interested in situational recording and the social landscape for some time. Her ongoing investigation “Not Quite Strangers” considers moments of anomaly, moments between here and there when we have, as Laurie Anderson once chanted, “gotten stuck in one of those abstract trances”—neither estranged nor entirely present.

(Jane, by the way, was entirely present for our Portrait Night earlier this week. She showed her efforts at portraying the city of Provincetown as she knows it, from over fifty years of visits, not as the tourist mecca most people envision.)

Paradise on NEO

Fans, historians, and artists shown during NEO’s first lifespan please note: There are nearly seventy portfolios in the NEO archives; we are in the process of uploading them all into the new design, which is searchable by date and name. We appreciate your patience as this process is underway.

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reGeneration2, published by Aperture

If anyone was tempted to think that there are only a handful of people and places that matter in the photography world, try this project on for size.

This second volume of reGeneration, just released by Aperture, comes five years after the first; not enough time to measure whether the project organizers, William A. Ewing and Nathalie Herschdorfer, are fulfilling their mission, which is to publish and exhibit work by photographers likely to be known in twenty years’ time. Nor is it entirely clear that focusing one’s curatorial efforts on art school graduates will always yield work of the most lasting value.

But it is clear that Ewing and Herschdorfer have reached out to gather in photography from all over the academic world. The eighty artists in this book have affiliations with some 120 schools, located everywhere from Finland and France to Australia, Lebanon, China, Japan, Argentina, India, and Ecuador. Nearly 720 artists from those schools were “candidates” for the selection, so inclusion in this volume was no mean feat.

In New England, these schools were “invited to participate”: Harvard; Mass Art; RISD; SMFA; Art Institute of Boston; and Yale.

From these programs, these photographers surfaced (in alphabetical order): George Awde; Jen Davis; Dru Donovan; Shane Lavalette; David Molander; Richard Mosse; Sasha Rudensky; and Robert Watermeyer.  They were born between 1978 and 1987, some outside of the United States. Some had not finished their programs when the book went to press, so this is truly a speculative venture, a prediction based on a snapshot of time and taste.

I don’t know many of the artists in the book, but I do have to admit to a certain thrill at seeing that Dru, Shane, and Jen were selected—wonderful photographers all. Congratulations on “passing the grade.” Remember, our eyes are on you for the next twenty years.

Link to information about the book.

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Here‘s the Boston Globe review of Jerome Liebling’s new show of large digital prints (courtesy of Singer Editions), a 29-print retrospective drawn from six decades of photographic engagement by the Amherst-based Liebling. I’m heading up to see the show with a friend this weekend, and I couldn’t imagine a better reason for a road trip.

Currier Museum of Art

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It was this writer’s first First Friday, and it was unquestionably a hot event. Is it as hot in February?

Outside in the plaza between 450 and 460 Harrison was incredibly pleasant space and breeze for conversation. Inside Yezerski, Kayafas, and Carroll multitudes teemed and swarmed around some very tasty photography.

Neeta Madahar at Howard Yezerski Gallery

Neeta Madahar. Laura with Irises, 2010, digital color coupler print from the "Flora" series, 40 x 30 inches

Neeta Madahar’s Flora series at Yezerski is so full of sensory information I’m surprised the gallery wasn’t awash in floral scent. Her portraits are woman in the metaphoric guise of flowers. Think of “jasmine” or “fuchsia” and what comes to mind? What colors, what characters? These connections are what charge Madahar’s work. She shifts gears with ease and intelligence; she has floral vision.

Until July 6

Familiar Bodies at Carroll and Sons Art Gallery

Photograph by David Hilliard from the Carroll and Sons exhibition "Familiar Bodies"

David Hilliard, Sally Mann, Doug DuBois, Laura Letinsky, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Irina Rozovsky (on display in PRC’s Exposure show until June 20). So hard to choose amongst all the offerings in this group show about people close at hand. Photographing one’s nearest and dearest is bound to show in the images, isn’t it? Different, I mean, than if you take pictures of strangers. You care more, the interaction has implications. When you look at the picture later, you know what came before, you know what came after the fractional moment that appears in the print.

At least, that’s the idea, the worthy premise explored in the many exhibitions and books devoted to the topic. Photographers may just photograph their family because they’re all agoraphobic stay-at-homes, or they live in the woods, or some other reason that keeps the camera from circulating in the wider world. There are a number of eloquent answers to the challenge in this fine and wide interpretation, drawn from familiar names, local and international, and probably some less known as well.

Until June 26

Yoav Horesh, (my) American Life at Gallery Kayafas

Yoav Horesh, New York City 2004, gelatin silver print, 8 x 12 inches

Maybe I’m just a 20th Century throwback, but I am irresistibly drawn to fine black-and-white prints. Yoav Horesh’s work was a revelation to me, largely because it is so good and covers such familiar ground, and I’d never seen it before. News travels slowly to Minnesota, I guess.

Yoav Horesh, East Chatham, New York 2006, gelatin silver print, 14 x 17.5 inches

Familiar doesn’t mean outworn, by the way. Horesh brings a novel eye to the American cultural landscape, and finds a place with the best of the outsiders and the insiders. This is connected, knowing work (there’s a view of John Szarkowski’s barn in East Chatham, New York that Yoav was quick to point out, and noted photographer Thomas Roma was among Horesh’s many admirers at the opening) that isn’t jaded or boring. Each photograph contains some amazement at discovering that, in fact, a photograph of a thing is truly different than the thing itself.

Yoav Horesh, San Francisco, CA 2003, gelatin silver print, 12 x 8 inches

After dividing time between Boston and Manhattan, Yoav is taking his street-wise eye on the road for a couple of years as he sets up a photo program in Hong Kong for the Savannah College of Art and Design. I look forward to his take on that megalopolis, and thank him for continuing to give gelatin silver paper makers reasons to remain in business.

Until July 17

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Among the many lessons that photographs have imparted to careful viewers is the fact that photography, a descriptive medium capable of minute detail and intimate specificity, can link the unique and the universal. A well-made photograph conveys information about both the particular object it depicts and the whole category of phenomena—sensations, emotions, and reactions—tied to that object.

Walker Evans exemplifies this dichotomy as well, if not better than, any 20th century photographic artist. To look at any Evans image is to encounter an iconic rendering. A storefront in Birmingham becomes all storefronts in the American South, for instance; a worn pair of shoes evokes miles walked by anyone. Evans pared down his photography, squeezing out excess information in a quest for pure meaning, and thus, pure symbolism.

His efforts resonate with many photographers (and other artists, including Dan Graham, who was paired with Evans for a 1992 exhibition at the Whitney Museum and several European venues). Most find Evans’ purity to be a kind of grail, worth pursuing in their own work over time. Belinda Rathbone, author of a 2000 Evans biography, has assembled 70 prints by Evans and by 22 contemporary photographers in whom evidence of Evans’ quest can be seen.

The photographers in the show, besides Walker Evans, are: Robert Adams, Jeff Brouws, Wendy Burton, William Christenberry (who was raised in Hale County, Alabama, not far from the area Evans photographed for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), Jim Dow, William Eggleston, Terry Evans (no relation), Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Frank Gohlke, Jan Groover, Danny Lyon, Joel Meyerowitz, Catherine Opie, Edward Ruscha, Erik Shubert, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Joel Sternfeld, Larry Sultan, George Tice, and Henry Wessel. A worthy group, to be sure.

The exhibition closes June 12, so don’t delay. Directions to the Lehman Art Center are linked below.

On the Road: A Legacy of Walker Evans

The Robert Lehman Art Center at Brooks School

1160 Great Pond Road

North Andover, MA  01845 [link for directions]

978-725-6232

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The listing page has moved!

For a complete list of current exhibitions, gallery openings, and events please visit our new page on the PRC website. In the future, you will find the current New England exhibitions and calls for entry there.

If you have information you wish to be added to these listings, please email info@prcboston.org.

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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9

E.P. Levine
ASMP presents Sports Shooters: Damien Strohmeyer and Rob Seale. Social: 6pm; Program: 7pm. 617-951-1499. 23 Drydock Ave, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02210.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10

Contemporary Art Gallery @ ALMA
Ballad of Life
. Opening Reception and Talk: 2-4pm. 617-926-2562. 65 Main St., Watertown, MA 02472.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11

Bristol Community College
Travelers Not Tourists: Nine Artists in the Azores. Opening Reception: 6-8om. Narrow Center for the Performing Arts, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River, MA.

Griffin Museum
Gallery Talk with Jonathan Spath.  Talk: 5:30-7pm.  781-729-1158. Griffin Museum at Digital Silver Imaging, 11 Brighton Street, Belmont, MA.

Grossman Gallery and Anderson Auditorium @ SFMA.
Student Annual Exhibition.
Opening Reception: 5-7pm. 617-369-3718. School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 230 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.

La Galeria at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
LINDA HIRSCH: CUBA: Hilos de Esperanza y Renovación/Threads of Hope & Renewal. Charla: 6-8pm. Artist Talk: 6-8pm. 617-927-1737. 85 West Newton Street, Boston, MA 02118.

MassArt
Selections 10, featuring the work of 25 MassArt faculty members who are newly hired or returning from sabbatical.
Artists Talk: 5pm. Opening Reception: 6-8pm. 617-879-7333. Bakalar and Paine Galleries, first and second floors of South Building, 621 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115.

Roslindale Arts Alliance
Artful Love.  Reception with the artists: 6-8pm.  Bangkok Cafe, 25 Poplar Street, Roslindale.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12

Howard Yezerski Gallery.
Boston: Combat Zone 1967 – 1978, Roswell Angier, Jerry Berndt, John Goodman.
Reception: 6-8pm. 617-262-0550. 460 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118.

13Forest Gallery.
Alone | Together: Jeffrey P. Heyne and Dorthea Van Camp. Opening Reception: 7-9pm. 781-641-3333. 167A Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02474.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14

Mobius.
EL’s Salon: The Importance of Theory in the Artmaking Practice.
Discussion: 3-6pm. 617-638-0020. 725 Harrison Ave, Suite One, Boston, MA 02118.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15

James’ Gate Gallery
3×9: Three Images by Nine Photographers.  Opening Reception: 7-9pm.  5 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain.

February 1-28
Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University
Irina Rozovsky’s Projectiles: Sale Way
.  In the photography case, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

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