Contemporary Fine Art Photography Chelsea Openings: Ezra Stoller at Yossi Milo, Michael Benson at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, Zwelethu Mthethwa at Jack Shainman Gallery

Ezra Stoller at Yossi Milo Gallery

IBM 702 Machine, 1955 Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

The evening’s chill did not dissuade hard-core fine art photography enthusiasts from making the frigid Chelsea trek.  First stop was Yossi Milo and American architectural photographer Ezra Stoller.  What is most striking about many of the black and white vintage photographs is seeing what American once was and once did: this America was filled with machines.  The post war photographs describe type-writer sized adding apparatus lined on conveyor belts; red and green ribbons of Life Savers on the assembly-line; printing presses and other photo-mechanical processes; a room-sized early IBM computer.

Michael Benson at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery

Michael Benson Clouds over Senegal and Mali, ISSo16 Crew, February 5, 2008, 2012. Courtisy Hasted Kraeutler Gallery

Not so much photographs as image spectacles, Michael Benson’s work at Hasted Kraeutler are stunning pictures created by robotic explorers of the solar system.

Michael Benson, a writer, photographer and filmmaker, sifted through 50,000 images of the enormous NASA archives.  Some images Benson used date from the 1970s, although he started this body of work in 1995.

Zwelethu Mthethwa at Jack Shainman Gallery

Zwelethu Mthethwa at Jack Shainman Gallery

Zwelethu Mthethwa presented three projects at Jack Shainman Gallery.  The Brave Ones depict photographs of young church devotees who’s custom is for young men to wear pleated skirts, bowties and decorative headwear; Hope Chest shows married women next to their furniture gift—the last one they are likely to receive from their family; and, most interesting, are the bare hostel room interiors of migrant workers of Johannesburg and Durban of The End of an Era.  Here, the two are spectacular large color photographs in the far back room that have a wash of red/pink and yellow that is overwhelming and moving.

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