Contemporary Fine Art Photography: Chelsea Art Gallery Openings Fall 2012

Contemporary fine art photography was well represented in the Fall Chelsea gallery openings.  It seems that there was more photography on hand in New York this time around than in recent memory.

It started with Lombard Freid Projects with “The Breakup” by Michael Rakowitz, which is oddly a ten-part radio series originally commissioned by Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem, that documents the precise moments when the Beatles broke up based on the 150-hour audio tapes from the shooting of Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s documentary Let It Be.

Next, Tim Roda presented family-oriented mostly black and white (with some color) photography at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc.

Analia Saban  and Susan Philipsz at where showing at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.  Two very large but grainy snapshot-looking photographs greeted viewers as they entered the gallery (pairs of black speakers dotted the other opposing walls).

Next door, Simon Starling’s show at Casey Kaplan reveals several sculptures and two films of historical narratives.  Black Drop focuses on 35mm film editing disparate archival material.

Stopping briefly at Anges Dufresne “Parlors and Pastorals” at Monya Rowe Gallery and then to colorful Monique van Genderen paintings and some excellent early Yayoi Kusama at D’Amelio Gallery, an ominious sign greeted viewers at Leonardo Drew’s monumental show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Watch your head indeed: the galleries were completely filled with large charred, splintered wood pilings stuffed in the entryway and the main galleries, producing awe.  Hung on the wall were additional small size wood pieces, obsessively constructed.

I liked the large dreamy cloud photographs at the back room at Julie Saul Gallery, but I didn’t catch the artists name, unfortunately and the web site does not identify them.

Yale MFA collegue Laura Letinsky’s Chicago-based new show at Yancey Richardson was one of the highlights of theChelsea openings.  These recent color studio-based photographs are a continuation of work where she takes images culled from her own previous images as well as those from magazines placed in large white tables.

Another highlight was Lise Sarfati “On Hollywood” at Yossi Milo Gallery.  These color photographs taken inLos Angeles were filled with poignant gestures.

Finally I ran into CBGB 70s photographer David Godlis and photographer Thatcher Keats  whom I know from Yaddo at the Brian Finke and Henry Horenstein at Clamp Art.  Henry teaches at RISD with my old classmate Steve Smith, another great photographer.


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